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Business Process Management BPM 100 Success Secrets:

100 Most Asked Questions on BPM Implementation, Process, Software, Tools and Solutions
Gerard Blokdijk

Business Process Management BPM 100 Success Secrets Copyright Gerard Blokdijk Notice of Rights All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Notice of Liability The information in this book is distributed on an As Is basis without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of he book, neither the author nor the publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the products described in it. Trademarks Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and the publisher was aware of a trademark claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book.

BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT BPM 100 SUCCESS SECRETS

There has never been a Business Process Management manual like this. 100 Success Secrets is not about the ins and outs of Business Process Management. Instead, it answers the top 100 questions that we are asked and those we come across in forums, our consultancy and education programs. It tells you exactly how to deal with those questions, with tips that have never before been offered in print. This book is also not about Business Process Management best practice and standards details. Instead, it introduces everything you want to know to be successful with Business Process Management.

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Foreword.................................................................................................3 The Importance of KPIs in the BPM Process ........................................ 9 The Three Functional Areas of BPM Software ..................................... 11 Meet the New Generation BPM Tools .................................................. 13 Two of the Many Meanings of BPM...................................................... 15 BPM & SOA: Merging Two Technologies to Improve Company Performance.......................................................................................... 17 The Benefits of BPM Application..........................................................19 Different Kinds of BPM Applications ...................................................21 Process Planning Made Accurate Through a BPM Calculator ............ 23 BPM Certification: Producing World Class Management Professionals2 5 BPM Conference: Consolidating Milestones in Process Management.27 How to Find the Best BPM Consulting Service ................................... 29 BPM Database: Creating Accurate Work Flow System ........................ 31 BPM Forum: A Venue of Great Value...................................................33 BPM Institute: A Repository of Management Knowledge....................35 The Importance of BPM List.................................................................37 The Development of the BPM Market ................................................. 39 BPM Partners: Lending Valuable Support for Management Professionals ...............................................................................................................41

How BPM Products Help Develop Corporate Performance ................ 43 How to Implement a BPM Project ....................................................... 45 How to Choose the Right BPM Resource............................................. 47 Mapping Business Process Using BPM Solutions ............................... 49 BPM Solutions: Creating Productive & Viable Companies...................51 The Importance of Strategies in Business Performance Management 53 The Business Process Management Strategy That Matters................. 55 The Importance of BPM Suite...............................................................57 Enriching the Management Practices Through BPM Summit ............ 59 The Important Functions of BPM System Tools ..................................61 BPM Systems: Critical Toolkit for Successful BPM Projects ............... 63 Using BPM Tool for Effective Process Management Planning............ 65 WHAT IS in Store for You in BPM Training? ...................................... 67 Sharpening Management Competency Through BPM Tutorial .......... 69 How to Choose the Best BPM Vendors ................................................. 71 Dissecting the Term BPM Workflow ................................................... 73 Business Process Management Conference: Elevating BPM Practices to a Higher Level..........................................................................................75 Business Process Modeling: Creating Conducive Environments for Company Efficiency ..............................................................................77 The Knowledge Areas of Business Analysis ......................................... 79 Making Work Easier Through Business Process Management Software8 1 Business Performance Management: The Driving Force of Business . 83 The Three Categories of BAs in Business Process Analysis ................. 85 Business Process Management & Business Process Automation: A Big Difference? ........................................................................................... 87 The Focus Areas of Business Process Consulting ................................ 89

The Six Steps to Business Process Reengineering ................................ 91 The Six Steps of Business Process Improvement ................................ 93 The Three Functional Types of Business Process Management Software ...............................................................................................................95 The Three Strategies Involved in Developing a Business Process Management Solution...........................................................................97 The Concept behind Business Process Management Tools................. 99 The Five Categories of Business Process Management ...................... 101 Strategic Planning through Business Process Outsourcing................103 The Role of Information Technology in Business Process Reengineering .............................................................................................................105 The Many Uses of Business Process Management Software..............107 A Business Process: Taking a Closer Look..........................................109 Transforming Business Processes into Working Applications............111 The Several Factors Behind the Success of Most Business Systems .. 113 The Three Elements of Business Transformation .............................. 115 How a Business Process Consultant Works in Action .........................117 How to Find the Right Business Process Consultants........................ 119 Breaking Down the Business Process Design ..................................... 121 The Importance of Business Process Integration............................... 123 Business Process Management BPM and More ................................. 125 Business Process Management Consultants: Providing Critical Support to Companies .......................................................................................... 127 What Business Process Management Consulting Is all About ...........129 Necessary Steps to Business Process Management Definition .......... 131 Business Process Management Solutions and Much More ................ 133 General Characteristics of a Solid BPM Suite..................................... 135

The Benefits of Employing a Business Process Management System 137 Getting Ahead with Business Process Management Systems.............139 What are Business Process Management Tools?................................ 141 The Two Aspects of Business Process Management Training............143 What can Business Process Management do for You? .......................145 4 Key Steps to Business Process Mapping ..........................................147 How to Achieve Business Process Optimization.................................149 Going Through a Business Process Redesign ..................................... 151 3 Key Questions a Business Process Workflow Should Address ........153 Electronic Document Management and its Components................... 155 Creating Successful Business Process with Free BPM........................ 157 Smart Solutions from Fuego Business Process Management ............159 Jboss BPM & How it Works ................................................................ 161 Lombardi BPM: A Success in Every Way............................................163 Where to Find Online BPM.................................................................165 What to Know About Open Source BPM ............................................167 Getting Things Done Through Business Process Automation............169 The Principles behind Business Process Improvement...................... 171 Process Management Software ...........................................................173 Process Management: A Brief Definition ........................................... 175 Business Process Modeling The 3 Characteristics of a Process Model177 SOA BPM Redefined ...........................................................................179 How TIBCO Expands Educational Endeavors in BPM....................... 181 What is BPM & How Can You Benefit From it?..................................183 The Nature of Business Process Management....................................185 The Many Benefits of Workflow Management ...................................187 The Benefits that Companies Can Get Out of Workflow Software .....189

Workflow Application: Automating Responses to Work Flow Changes1 1 9 Workflow Applications & How They Work.........................................193 The Benefits of Workflow Automation ............................................... 195 Workflow Automation Software: Improving Speed, Efficiency, & Productivity......................................................................................... 197 Workflow Management Software: Enhancing Company Collaboration1 9 9 What to Know about Work Flow Software .........................................201 Improving Response Time through Workflow Solution ................... 203 Valuable Benefits of Workflow Solutions .......................................... 205 Efficient Workflow System Means Greater Productivity and Higher Collaboration ..................................................................................... 207

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T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F K P I S I N T H E BPM PROCESS

In Business Process Management (BPM), it is very important to establish metrics to drive performance. But then again, these metrics may be different from one company to another. This is because metrics usually depend on the nature of the business, in addition to company goals and objectives. To help organizations with the data analysis part of the business process, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be laid down to assess and determine the present state of the business, and recommend the best possible course of action for business growth and development. These are some of the things that should be noted about KPI: 1. Should be consistent and correct; 2. Secure yet accessible at all times; 3. Directly reflect the effectiveness and efficiency of a business; and

4. Aid in proper decision-making for top management officials.

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are critical to the business as there are several methodologies that can be used to determine possible metrics that are indeed applicable to the business. Though this may come as a sort of a challenge to some, it is still advisable to come up with metrics and KPIs that are really attainable and measurable. How can one expect to reach a certain goal if he/she is not capable amidst of all the things that he/she has done in terms of preparation and planning? Being practical and logical in coming up with key metrics can definitely bring the best out of people's potential. With the awareness of the proper alignment of processes with business goals and performance that should be measured, surely everything will go out right.

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THE THREE FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF B P M S O F T WA R E

The reason behind the concept of Business Performance Management (BPM) is obviously to drive performance through careful analysis of current business practices. To determine the best course of action from a list of possible options, there is a need to collect relevant data to ensure present and future business successes. Identification of reasonable metrics to measure performance is critical to attain short and long-term goals, as measuring performance metrics will always result to business process improvement. Having this realization has resulted to the development of BPM software applications with processes that can be broken down into three functional areas. The first one on the list is data collection. Since performance management always involves gathering of relevant data, typical BPM software packages provide appropriate organization and storage of enterprise data through data warehousing. It is a repository of all information stored into a single corporate memory, organized diligently in such a way that data can be easily accessed for analysis and querying purposes.

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Second is report generation. For gathered information to become useful, effective and timely analysis should be done. This is the reason why BPM software applications are made to easily generate reports to purposely determine in which direction the progress of a certain process is heading. This is usually done by using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The last one has something to do with data analysis. After the careful evaluation of certain business process, BPM software packages can also provide relevant information that business owners can use to drive performance towards reaching company goals. Proper use of resources is therefore necessary and taking advantage of BPM software can even result to generation of future performance forecasts, giving business owners enough time to create strategies towards success.

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M E E T T H E N E W G E N E R AT I O N B P M TOOLS

In the past, the tools of business process management (or BPM) were utilized solely but now many businesses are considering its integration in SOA environments. This is because the tools and the SOA are actually complimentary; although there is still the challenge of convincing customers that such a merger is mature enough to stand on its own. The challenge, in other words, is to see such a unification of BPM tools and SOA as a distinctly different unit compared to the sole BPM tool that the entire business world has known for more than twenty years. While BPM tools have been around for quite some time, there is still the need to evolve in order to respond to the need of a new generation. Therefore, many management experts have begun developing a new generation of BPM tools that will truly answer the call of business process needs in the present and beyond.

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The development of these new BPM tools stem from the past mistakes and frustrations previous IT professionals as well as business users have with the old BPM system. Currently, product developers are learning about what truly works and what ought not be included in the new generation of BPM tools. While former BPM tools served as models for business intelligence products and were able to provide fairly good visibility into different kinds of business products, they were not able to give users the direct ability to implement such types of process. The newer range, however, is fully capable of doing just that.

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TWO OF THE MANY MEANINGS OF BPM

The acronym BPM has been used in many sectors of the business industry, the most popular meanings of which are Business Process Management and Business Performance Management. As you may have noticed, the difference lies on the meaning of letter P Process and Performance. Given this distinction, you may have a slight idea what makes Business Process Management different from Business Performance Management. Business Process Management is the proper alignment of the several sets of activities and tasks that need to be carried out to efficiently deliver the needs and wants of clients or customers. This management approach promotes business efficiency and effectiveness to make way for certain changes within the system to realize company goals and objectives. The interrelated activities and tasks should lean towards flexibility, innovation and integration with technology to successfully perform dynamic processes for business growth and development.

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On the other hand, Business Performance Management focuses on the determination of various processes that are proven effective in helping organizations optimize business performance. By doing so, this other version of BPM assist businesses in maximizing the use of resources, in terms of financial, material, or human to drive performance through the automation and organization of business methodologies, systems and metrics. Through the years, people have struggled to think of certain business strategies and transform them into measurable metrics that will eventually result to the analysis of cause-effect relationships to deliver projected and profitable insights to business owners. Because of this, process automation took place and the release of various BPM software packages just goes to show the need to link and integrate business approaches together to produce satisfactory outcomes.

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BPM & SOA: MERGING TWO TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE C O M PA N Y P E R F O R M A N C E

BPM and SOA can complement each other with the end view of improving company business processes and rolling out quality products and services to end consumers. BPM or business process management is a tool that could actually create the intended products and services while SOA or service oriented architecture serves as the engine to make BPM work and to deliver that work to consumers. It is a symbiotic relationship that could generally optimize the entire operation of companies. Service oriented architecture was developed to give companies flexibility for their computing needs. Because the underlying nature of SOA is to distribute the computing architecture, this opens up opportunities for companies to work and collaborate across different platforms, different locations, and different local IT support. Having this kind of architecture, a web-centric, SOA-based business process management can be delivered across a wide, disconnected network.

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It eliminates the need to centralize the IT infrastructure in order for BPM to be deployed on a wide network. Centralization entails significant concomitant overhead expenses like setting up of an IT environment, maintenance of infrastructure and IT support personnel. So the merging of SOA and BPM will not only result to flexibility of companies to deploy work flow processes, it could also enable them to interconnect their separate business units and most importantly they could save a lot of much needed company resources. BPM and SOA are new technologies that can maximize the potentials of companies to make significant growth. If properly complemented, BPM and SOA can further improve productivity resulting to increasing profit and strengthening the viability of a company.

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THE BENEFITS OF BPM A P P L I C AT I O N

Business process management involves the organization of different functions of a company into a unified process in order to deliver quality products and services in less time and with greater efficiency. This could be done manually but the risks of manual creation of process management far outweigh its benefits. In order to optimize the process and ensure greater productivity, companies could implement an enterprise wide BPM application. The automation of business process management using BPM applications has strategic importance on the company's performance and profitability. The less time allocated to the grueling process of planning and design can make it possible for companies to start work or projects immediately. Coordination and collaboration of individual subdivisions of companies can also be strengthened which creates a conducive environment for concerted efforts thus improving productivity and internal company harmony. Through the BPM application, managers can now practice a pro-active stance in their management system because the BPM program can allow them to act quickly on important events that need management decisions.

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BPM applications are widely marketed on the Internet. Companies can take the services of a hosted application and apply it on their local IT environment. Other business process management applications can also be acquired through business software vendors and the software suite can be installed on local servers for enterprise-wide implementation. There are also BPM application that are process-centric which means that software can be used for different process management tasks such as process design, work flow creation, document collaboration and many other related functions.

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DIFFERENT KINDS OF BPM A P P L I C AT I O N S

There are different kinds of BPM applications that companies could use to improve their business process management. The important role of BPM applications is to automate the business process thus making the work easier, and ensuring quality and efficient deliveries of products and services. An enterprise-wide BPM application is a whole set of business software that can be deployed and used by an entire company. Usually, this kind of BPM application includes all the tools and separate applications that are needed to create process management architecture. Companies that do not have BPM software and is yet to implement BPM application practices can benefit from the program. They can institute their business process management using the business process program and overhaul their entire process management paradigm.

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Another kind of BPM application is more process specific. These computer BPM programs can create individual stages of the process. Applications like this will normally not need a server in order to run. Just the workstation of a manager would be enough and it could be installed and used as the need arises. These BPM applications can create a process design and workflow while others will allow managers to improve document processing and collaboration. There are also programs that can generate business process maps and detailed work flow metrics. In all BPM applications, simulation and scenario setting can be made possible. There are also hosted BPM applications and these could be an option if a company wants to outsource some of their business processes such as accounting or human resources.

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PROCESS PLANNING MADE A C C U R AT E T H R O U G H A B P M C A L C U L ATO R

Time is essential in business processes. The more time allotted to finish a particular process means more resources and man-hours are being consumed. The finished output therefore could have a diminished value. This means that productivity and profitability of a company are linked to process time. That is why companies exert every effort to improve the business process to achieve faster turnover of products. This will therefore translate to increasing profit and productivity. The development of BPM calculators has enabled companies to accurately determine the allowable time to finish a certain process. A BPM calculator is an important tool to measure in concrete terms and metrics business processes. This valuable piece of software can project optimum process time so that it can be followed by business enterprises and considered during process planning.

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BPM calculators usually display on-screen information which are actually calculations of a business process. BPM calculators possess standard metrics or process measurement system for different industries. For example, the best practices of manufacturing companies are stored in the BPM calculator. These best practices include the measure for creating products. Data are already in place and managers usually measure the performance of their units against the data presented in BPM calculators. If the process time falls below the standard set on the BPM calculator, then adjustments would have to be made to improve process time. BPM calculators are also configurable according to the specific standards of a company. Certain data would have to be entered first in order to re-configure calculations. Process time is measured according to the customized metrics. Any lag against the standard process time should be quickly addressed by managers.

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B P M C E RT I F I C AT I O N : P R O D U C I N G WORLD CLASS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS

There are two types of BPM certification that management professionals can take. The first one certifies professional as a BPM practitioner using BPM software. The second type certifies in the intricacies of business process and trains manager to spot opportunities in the business process that needs improvement or refinement. Both trainings can give valuable inputs to business process managers that can certainly improve their skills in business process management. BPM certification in the use of different BPM software trains managers to use different computer assisted programs geared towards optimizing process management. BPM applications will be introduced to trainees and they will be trained to manipulate those programs to generate a process model. The aim of this kind of training is to give managers the necessary software skills in building a process design, workflow, and process map. Essentially this training will enhance the capability of managers in generating a business process model through the use of computer applications.

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The other type of training, which also gives BPM certification, is more traditional in its approach. This training is process driven and teaches managers how to understand the concept of process management and how to build a design based on these concepts. Managers will also be introduced to the principles behind every steps of the business process and they will be trained to seek opportunities that could make the process optimal. Problem solving cases will also be given to trainees to test their abilities and competence on the different aspects of business process management.

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BPM CONFERENCE: C O N S O L I D AT I N G M I L E S TO N E S I N PROCESS MANAGEMENT

A BPM conference is an important event that seeks to consolidate several best practices of business process management. The aim is to raise the standards of process management in order to create business environments that are competitive, costumer-driven, and profitable. BPM conferences also provide a forum for process managers in understanding several issues in the field of business management. Business process management conferences are venues where international practices are discussed thoroughly. Modern techniques in business processes are presented in the conferences and are studied. Processes that have been found to merit attention could become a standard model for certain industries. New theories are formulated and articulated during BPM conferences. These theories seek to elevate several methodologies of process management in order to come up with a new business idea. management. This then can significantly help management practitioners as well as businesses in improving workflow process

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BPM conferences are attended by distinguished academics that specialize in the theory and practice of business management. Management practitioners and experts are also important participants in these conferences. They usually provide concrete practice and new methods in the field of business process management. Industrialists also participate in BPM conference and, in many instances, their insights have contributed greatly to the body of knowledge of process management. Management professionals can greatly benefit from business process management conferences. International standards and practices are created during these events. New methods, techniques, and theories that were propounded during BPM conferences can enrich the knowledge of every business management professional.

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HOW TO FIND THE BEST BPM C O N S U LT I N G S E R V I C E

If a company wants to survive and prosper in a highly competitive business environment, it should make appropriate business processes adjustments to make their current practices aligned with today's business technologies, innovations, and techniques. The first step in creating a competitive and highly viable company is to improve upon the business process. For companies that have yet to implement a BPM methodology, a BPM consulting firm could offer critical help in instituting best practices business process management methods. Getting the services of a thirdparty consulting firm offers innumerable benefits. A BPM consulting firm can infuse fresh ideas to the company and can train managers to hone their skills in process management.

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There are many BPM consulting firms that offer quality and superior services. They could be found on the Internet because almost every existing consultancy services today maintain a website. Companies therefore will have different options if they would hire a consultancy group. The most important thing to look for when evaluating a BPM consulting firm is its years of service. A consultancy firm that has been in the industry for many years would have richer experience and sufficient expertise to give service. This does not mean that new consultancy groups are inferior. There are many maverick BPM consulting agencies that can offer cuttingedge techniques especially in the field of business process management. But years of service could be a first measure of competence. The next important thing to consider when evaluating BPM consulting firms is the quality of consulting packages they offer. Companies must look for consultancies that can offer BPM integration using the most advanced BPM applications and techniques.

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B P M D ATA B A S E : C R E AT I N G A C C U R AT E W O R K F L O W S Y S T E M

A BPM database stores important information of the company's process management system. Business processes rely heavily on data in order create effective process techniques and work flow procedures. These data will be used by analyst and managers in planning or designing company business processes. A BPM database is also important in order to facilitate centralized disposition of process knowledge, which is critical in designing a business process. It is important to understand that the aim of business process management is to improve the performance of companies in terms of greater productivity, improved customer relations, and efficient business operations. A BPM database can make process planning accurate and will allow managers to design an enterprise-wide workflow system. If effective workflow has been created, the goals of process management could be realized.

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A BPM database also strengthens process management because issues that may arise can be verified against past experiences thus corrective measures can be implemented quickly. It can also make the business process repeatable because best practices and information on past implementation can serve as a model for any planned business process. There are many applications that provide powerful database support for business process management. These applications can be uploaded to company servers making it available for any business unit or department. In this way, business objectives and the processes needed to realize those objectives could be easily generated by process managers. Powerful database programs essential for process management can be purchased as a stand-alone program or as part of a business software suite.

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B P M F O R U M : A V E N U E O F G R E AT VA L U E

Just like any other forums, a BPM forum is a useful site for practitioners of business process management. A BPM forum is a venue where current technologies in the BPM industry are discussed. It is also a good venue for managers to exchange ideas and experience in the implementation of different business process techniques. New methods are introduced in the forum and announcements of summit, conferences, important trainings, and major events in the business management sector are posted on BPM forums. BPM forums are populated by industry experts, managers, company executives, business academics, process developers, BPM software experts, and a lot more. In fact, some BPM forums boast that their membership includes companies that are listed in the top 500 global industry performers. It would be a definite advantage for management professionals to gain access and become a member of these forums.

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Through these forums, they could get valuable insights, best practices, and new methodologies of business process management. New opportunities can also be opened especially to those managers looking for a greener pasture. That is because sometimes, member companies will post an announcement of their need to hire new process managers or line managers for their business units. One can easily find a BPM forum. Looking up for it on any Internet search engines will generate thousands of BPM forums that will certainly be very useful for every manager. To maximize the potential of BPM forums, a member should become an active participant in the discussions and should contribute individual experience in the practice of BPM techniques.

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BPM INSTITUTE: A REPOSITORY OF MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE

A BPM institute is a service provider organization dedicated to the practice of business process management. These organizations are created by industry leaders in collaboration with business intellectuals and management practitioners. The principal aim of BPM institutes is to give valuable services, trainings, resource materials, and to become a venue for exchange of ideas in matters concerning the theory and practice of business process management. Every management practitioner can be a member of a BPM institute. There are some registration requirements though before one can become a full member of an institute.

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Almost all business process management institutes have a website that mirrors the service they offer. One can actually get useful ideas and resources from BPM institute websites by downloading several of their white papers, discussion references, and useful articles. Anybody can also contribute their process management ideas because BPM institute websites have facilities for white papers and articles submissions. Managers and business academics can test their concepts and practices against the ideas of fellow professionals because papers submitted can be critiqued by any member of the institute. This can enrich ideas and tested practices can help other managers in their own industries. BPM institutes are useful organizations that can certainly help managers and business professionals improve their understanding of process management. Just like forums, it is a good venue to exchange experiences and ideas. But it is more beneficial than BPM forums because of the wide array of services, information, and resources that a BPM institute can offer.

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T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F B P M L I S T

Managers can use BPM list to systematize the creation of a process management plan. Having a list of critical areas of concern that should be covered by the business process plan is important. This can make business process planning a lot easier. In the first stages of BPM planning, identification of objectives and key areas of concern is critical. Managers must be able to pin point major problem areas so that appropriate process management solutions can be implemented. A list of key personnel responsible in the implementation of the process should be generated. Their tasks and the necessary tools they need should be identified. After completing this, a process map should be created integrating the data gathered during the identification process.

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After generating a process map, a work flow diagram must be created which could serve as the implementing guidelines of the whole business process. BPM workflow list may include specific tasks that are needed to reach company objectives. Aside from the tasks that have been set, the methods needed to implement those tasks should be listed also and integrated in the workflow. Expected results of each workflow process should also be taken into account. These make the planning process complete. Managers by this time should carefully monitor actual implementation of the business process and should make necessary adjustments if a problem occurs. Another set of business process management list will be created for this stage, which could be useful in evaluating and assessing the planned business process.

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THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BPM MARKET

The BPM market has a long history. Before the term BPM has been accepted as set of standard process management methodologies and technologies, it underwent several definitions and conceptual meanings. In the past, BPM could mean many things. Management professional can define BPM in terms of process models while other can conceptualize it in terms of reengineering business processes. BPM as a management methodology is a very recent addition to the management body ok knowledge. The standardization of BPM also entails the development of different tools and applications as well as different techniques in the practice of process management. A BPM market also emerged and this market encompasses applications and software vendors that engineers BPM tools and programs, training centers and knowledge based providers, BPM consultancies, and BPM documents providers. The BPM market is probably the most robust sector in the management industry because of the increasing demand for BPM necessities.

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The BPM market can be categorized in two general segments. The first segment may include software developers, BPM tools vendors, BPM IT support sector, and BPM technicians. This segment provides the necessary engines and technical services needed to implement a BPM infrastructure. The other segment is composed of BPM knowledge and skills providers and may include training and certification centers, consulting firms, institutes, publishers, BPM journals, and similar entities that can enrich the knowledge and skills of management practitioners in the practice of BPM. The BPM knowledge sector is an important adjunct of the BPM market because they can provide the know-how in running the different BPM engines.

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B P M PA R T N E R S : L E N D I N G VA L U A B L E S U P P O R T F O R MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS

BPM partners are actually service providers and institutions that specialize in the practice of business process management. The services provided by these institutions may include trainings and software support. These BPM partners can also provide valuable articles, references and white papers that could be needed in clarifying new concepts and techniques in the practice of BPM. Some BPM partners also provide consulting services for companies that wish to implement current technologies and techniques of business process management.

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Other BPM partners are also providers of important podcasts, lecture videos, web casts, and interactive presentations on the important aspects of modeling a BPM design for companies. Usually, these partners can also be the vehicle in launching a BPM conference or a summit where management luminaries, gurus, and practitioners attend. Companies can get important updates from the websites of BPM partners about new applications for enterprise business process tools. BPM partners are important organizations in the process management sector. These entities serve as valuable communication vehicle of business process managers. A company could benefit from strong linkages with these BPM partners because management institutions like these can offer strong support in the implementation of business process management methods. One can find numerous BPM partners from the Internet. In fact, almost all BPM partners are web based institutions making their services widely available to every management professionals around the world. The services and resources that are available from these business process management partners could be the key to a company's successful implementation of BPM.

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HOW BPM PRODUCTS HELP D E V E L O P C O R P O R AT E PERFORMANCE

BPM products may include single process software, different application suites, reference books and white papers, electronic media, and skills development services. These products will enable companies to integrate and roll out different BPM applications to their process management. BPM products if utilized wisely can standardize the process management framework of enterprises and could result to improving productivity, superior delivery of customer services, and eventually increasing profit. Business process management is a relatively recent practice in the corporate world. Management through the business processes has been proven to work in terms of optimizing the capacity of companies in facing the challenges of modern business environments. BPM products such as software and application suite allow companies to seamlessly change their management paradigm without too much dislocation and disturbance in their regular operations.

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The implementation of BPM software in modeling the business processes of companies contributed greatly in organizing and systematizing the operations of companies. BPM modeling software can design the overall work flow processes of a company as well as mapping important key areas where business process should be improved. These applications helped companies in improving their corporate performance especially in customer relations management. BPM software can also tighten the integration of different company functions into a single process that could give quality products and services. significantly lessen wastage of valuable company resources. BPM products come in many kinds. It could be an application, knowledge resources, or skills development. These BPM products can certainly help companies in refining their management methodologies. The facility provided by BPM products such as these improved efficiency and

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HOW TO IMPLEMENT A BPM PROJECT

In selecting a BPM project, companies especially its executives and managers should take into consideration several critical factors. These considerations may include the experience of the organization in implementing BPM projects, the ability of its IT personnel and infrastructure to support BPM, the experience of key line managers in implementing a BPM project, and most importantly, definition of specific targets where BPM implementation should be more beneficial. Resolving first these four areas of immediate concern should be the first step in implementing a BPM project. The success or failure of the implementation depends primarily on the resolution of issues on these critical areas.

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Another key important consideration in selecting a BPM project is the scope of implementation. If a company were a novice in BPM project implementation, it would be prudent to select a small segment of the company or a sub-department that could be easily managed. A small BPM project implemented on a small sector within the company is safer and can easily be handled by managers. This initial implementation could serve as a pilot area where managers and personnel will train their skills in the practice of BPM. It is also a good opportunity to test the capabilities of the company's IT environment. After successfully implementing the first BPM project, companies should calibrate their effort to involve cross-organizational and multifunctional BPM project. The lessons learned and the technologies acquired from the first project can now serve as a model for a larger and more complex implementation of BPM project.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BPM RESOURCE

While it might be difficult to choose from the different types of resources for business processing management, there are some important considerations that you need to think of carefully in order to arrive at the right choice for your business. The first consideration is whether or not the business processing resource has a centralized data hold. If you run a small business endeavor and do not have any more space or means in order to upgrade the systems you have to operate your entire network, you might want to consider installing a data storage system that is centralized. This way, your data becomes more accessible to the different areas of the system. Next will be customization. As much as possible, try to see if the resource that you are considering is easy to customize and has few flexibility issues. Your business process management resource must have options for customization and you can modify it according to the needs of your business. This will make the expenditure on it worthwhile since you can tailor fit it to satisfy several requirements.

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You should also consider the system's ease of use. No business process management resource is worth it if it will take you and your staff some time to figure out how the entire thing works. A complex business process management resource will be more costly in the end, because then you will need to hire a professional to run or explain it to you which is definitely less preferable to running it yourself so you can save on your business income. Simply put, an easy to use business process management software will save you time, allow you to produce more output and will involve less spending on the technological know how of professionals.

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MAPPING BUSINESS PROCESS USING BPM SOLUTIONS

A BPM solution can be created using business process software. In fact, most companies are automating their process planning and work flow management using either generic BPM solution software or a highly customized suite of applications. Process management solution can easily be acquired by purchasing commercial business software or getting a free application that can generate a BPM solution. Most BPM solution packages can be deployed instantly on individual computers or through a server. These applications can work on different platforms. A BPM solution is important in order to create a process plan. This will be used to systematize, re-order, and optimize the company's tasks. Complementing this process plan is the workflow. Most BPM solution package offers a combination of tools that can generate a process plan as well as a workflow. A business process management solution that has this feature will be very useful for managers and company executives.

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Another feature that could be found on BPM solution is its ability to generate a business process map. The process map outlines the complete business process and diagrams each important workflow. It is a powerful feature that can help companies in identifying problem areas or possible problem areas. The process map will show who is responsible for each step. It will also generate the tasks needed to reach company objectives. The process map also identifies the tools and mechanisms that will be used to implement the tasks. A good BPM solution should possess the ability to generate process maps.

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B P M S O L U T I O N S : C R E AT I N G P R O D U C T I V E & V I A B L E C O M PA N I E S

BPM solutions can be implemented on different aspects of business. Aside from enterprise-wide implementation of business process planning, BPM solutions can be applied on a particular business component, business task, or even a specific project. BPM solutions allow companies to deploy template-based business processes for faster application. Process management designs can be generated using BPM solutions. It is important to note however that these template-based BPM designs should be scaled to match the specific needs a company. BPM solutions can be applied on marketing and sales aspect of a company. A BPM solution can improve cash inflow and increase the profitability of an enterprise by making adjustments in the process of marketing a product. Improved product launch and promotion can be targeted for BPM solution. The processes involved in this aspect of sales and marketing could be refined using BPM solutions.

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Human resources as well as customer management can also be improved by applying BPM solutions. Automating the processes of customer to company correspondence and interaction can have a significant impact on customer relations. Customer-driven companies should constantly refine their business processes in these areas in order to answer the demands of clients. BPM solutions can be implemented enterprise-wide covering the whole business processes. It could also target specific departments in order to refine the processes in those areas. BPM solutions are useful tools that can significantly improve the performance of the entire company or its sub-components. Improved business processes can enhance productivity making the company extremely viable and profitable.

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T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F S T R AT E G I E S
IN

BUSINESS PERFORMANCE

MANAGEMENT

Business performance management is a collection of strategies that involve enterprise resource planning and linked with customer service and technological innovations. Business process management has different levels that when in sync with one another, will allow a company to come up with wise implementation decisions and move in closer to the way their business objectives are being met. The strategies involved in business process management involve a lot of aspects, mostly managerial in nature. These strategies are all geared towards the achievement of any organization's performance objectives and catering to the different needs of the various organizational departments. In order to see the bigger picture, one needs to look at business process management to determine if there is even a single aspect of the strategies involved that is crucial to the well being of the entire system. If there is, and that strategy seems to be performing less than usual, then instant measures are taken in order to avoid any significant losses due to errors in the system.

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One such particular strategy is technology planning. This is important because it not only is the decisive factor in the course of the businesses' future; it also involved a significantly huge amount of the entire corporation's resources. If the business process management strategy is designed in such a way that it is able to zero in on all the key directions of the entire system, then the technological aspect will be more effective, useful and definitely less costly. This way, the company can up performance and lower production costs.

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THE BUSINESS PROCESS M A N A G E M E N T S T R AT E G Y T H AT M AT T E R S

Business process management definitely needs a lot of strategies in order to come up with the best output for any organization that utilizes it. One very important strategy is the way the business process management system determines the required changes in the entire organization. Because any enterprise turning to business process management requires organizational changes so they can become more successful and surpass any standard or benchmark they have set up for themselves, it is important for this strategy to assess the exact level of change that is required.

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To illustrate, business process management strategies usually have an impact a host of systems and applications in the entire organization, including enterprise resource planning, financial systems as well as content management and integration. Implementing a business process management strategy in different cases will usually mean changing the way some people attend to things and the way they focus on their systems, even when the core processes do not become fundamentally altered. Because of these organizational changes, it is important that a business process management expert is centralized and can easily be dispersed all throughout the various areas of information technology. Many organizations resort to this by establishing a center of excellence that also becomes a good focus group that can attend to the evaluation, research and implementation functions of business process management technologies. Clearly, this is one business process management strategy that, when closely attended to and monitored, will have the capacity to change the face of the entire business venture or corporation.

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T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F B P M S U I T E

Business process software suite includes powerful programs that can easily automate BPM tasks. BPM suite offers process planning and design to work flow presentation and process mapping. Important documents, templates, spreadsheets, and graph generators could be included in a BPM complete program package. Companies should take advantage of these technologies in order to improve their process flow management. The benefits it may bring to company productivity could be enormous. BPM application suite could also be used to generate business process models. This ability makes the program extremely useful for managers because process modeling could be difficult to create through manual methods. Process management software also allows managers to repeat a plan for similar business situations or environments. Management professionals can get complete BPM suite by accessing websites of business software vendors. A wide array of different software solutions is usually available for any type of business. There are also BPM suites that are more industry-specific.

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The process management software for these industries answers specific needs of their sector. There are also BPM suites that can be deployed using a remote host or server. Companies usually subscribe to the software. Hosted process management solution is ideal for small and medium scale businesses that lack appropriate IT environments or servers. Business process management suite can benefit companies by providing them with tools that can automate their business processes. BPM suites can also significantly improve company performance by making process management planning and implementation easier. Managers can focus more on the process because process designs and planning can be made by BPM applications.

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ENRICHING THE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES THROUGH BPM SUMMIT

A BPM summit is a grand event that could be a source important insights and developments on the field of business process management. BPM summit brings together management experts, analysts, process managers and practitioners, and key developers of BPM solutions. Presentations of new techniques and methods of process managements could be made available as well as introduction of new BPM applications designed to optimize company performance. In a BPM summit, sessions will be scheduled to specifically discuss different aspects of applied process management. Key benefits of BPM are also discussed in relation to improved modeling techniques and effective process mapping. For novice managers and students of process management, sessions on basic BPM application and the parameters in implementing the system will also be available. A BPM summit is important for systems analysts and BPM developers in order to gain insights on current best practices of business process management.

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Company executives as well as IT professionals should also take advantage of BPM summit to know various techniques in generating a process plan, workflow environment, and process mapping. Business process management summit is similar to BPM conferences. These events enrich the practice of process management and elevate best practices into applicable theories and methodologies. An effective BPM summit can definitely contribute to the whole body of knowledge of business management. It can also refine current methods and processes, which could benefit more companies. If companies can improve their process management, it could lead to robust industries fueling growth and further developments.

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T H E I M P O RTA N T F U N C T I O N S O F BPM SYSTEM TOOLS

A BPM system is composed of several applications and tools that are useful in process management. These tools can make the work of process managers and other management professionals easier. The set of applications available in a BPM system can simplify the development of the entire BPM plans and processes. BPM system tools can be used to automate, define, and manage enterprise processes. A BPM definition tool for example can easily define the objectives of process management. Some process definitions tools can generate interactive graphs that can be easily manipulated through drag and drop method. An objective can be added or removed easily while a specific process to attain objectives can be automatically generated by validating certain parameters.

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Another important feature of a BPM system is its ability to simulate a process using real life events or situations. This is a powerful tool for process managers and analyst to determine possible bottlenecks and problem areas in the planned business process. BPM systems normally include tools that can generate documents such as spreadsheets, user forms, graphical interface for users and servers, and communication tools. It is also important to find development tools in the BPM system such as data base organization, template generation, and work flow environment creation. Business process management system is an ingenious development that can provide complete solution for process managers and business analysts. Companies should have a defined process management system in order to improve their productivity and effect positive changes in their business process management.

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BPM SYSTEMS: CRITICAL TOOLKIT


FOR

SUCCESSFUL BPM PROJECTS

BPM systems are comprehensive set of tools, methodologies, and functions that will be needed and essential in implementing a business process management framework. The whole BPM system will encompass the whole process of implementation from planning a design, modeling, workflow set-up, evaluation, and reintegration for future BPM projects. This should include also database management, archiving, and generation of templates that could serve as a pattern for the companys standard BPM practices. A sound BPM system will allow the integration of different processes of the company's divergent functions and organizations into a single standardized set of business process. This will open the possibility for inter-organizational, inter-departmental collaboration making the entire company a cohesive unit.

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The implementation of a comprehensive BPM system could greatly enhance the definition of corporate goals. The processes that will be put into operation to achieve those goals will determine the success of the company. Because the process is critical in realizing goals, a BPM system could be the most ideal technology to be used. Process definition can be modeled using the BPM software and the necessary workflow can be generated using the system. Included in the BPM system is the ability to map the whole process so that managers can easily spot opportunities or defects in the design and workflow. BPM systems are essential technologies critical to the success of any BPM project. Managers must sharpen their skills in applying business process management systems in order to push the productivity and efficiency of their companies.

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USING BPM TOOL FOR EFFECTIVE PROCESS MANAGEMENT PLANNING

A BPM tool is a particular application normally included in software packages or BPM solutions. BPM tools can be process specific or a development utility. Process managers should understand the functions of different BPM tools in order to maximize the power provided by business process management applications. BPM tools can be a development utility such as process map generator, documents creator, or data base organizer. These tools are important in creating the process plans. Process plans usually need proper documentations for mapping purposes, communication, and workflow updating. BPM tools that can create process documents will be very useful in the overall design of the process plan. A good BPM suite must also include database creation software. Database is important in the information gathering stage and can be a source of useful data for redundant and repetitive tasks.

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BPM process specific tools are those that can be used to generate the business process. Business process designs can be created using tools such as workflow creator, process mapping, and process simulators. These are critical tools that are essential in the whole business process planning. In a way, BPM tools that are process specific can be considered as key functions in designing the whole business process model. A good business process application should be equipped with a rich set of BPM tools that are necessary to create a sound and effective BPM plan. Managers must select a software suite that has these capabilities in order to ensure that their process plans will be effective.

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W H AT I S I N S T O R E F O R Y O U I N BPM TRAINING?

Information technology professionals and business intelligence practitioners ought to undergo some training before they lead their teams into using business process management (or BPM) tools. Luckily, there are many training options available that are all designed by practitioners themselves. An extensive curriculum will require much studying, but you will be able to learn about the newest and the latest ideologies of business process management through BPM training, as well as the strategies and advice, which you can easily put into action and apply to many real life situations on the field. Furthermore, going through BPM training will allow you to advance your career and take you to greater heights in your company even by taking just a single business process management training course and getting for yourself a certificate of training. BPM training has three delivery methods, which are all very convenient - face-to-face, web-based and in-house.

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Additionally, you may opt to customize your course depending on your business needs. In just a single day of BPM training, you will be able to learn about the different key concepts, business methodologies, important techniques and the latest technologies, which will all be waiting for you once you finish the training and assume more responsibilities as bona fide professional in BPM. Key areas of learning also involve study on process management and the system of business process management, newest approaches in business process, as well as the pros and cons of the different types of BPM implementation approaches.

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SHARPENING MANAGEMENT COMPETENCY THROUGH BPM TUTORIAL

Project managers, line managers, and key business process functionaries can benefit from the rich resources provided by a BPM tutorial center or website. BPM tutorials are important for two reasons. First, it could help managers cope with the demands required by a BPM project implementation. Second, it could help management professionals understand the concepts and techniques in implementing BPM technologies. These tutorials are usually provided by BPM institutions or independent professional organizations in order to improve the practice of BPM and refine the skills of every management practitioners.

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A typical BPM tutorial may include important discussions or presentations recorded in an electronic media. Managers can get pointers or critical information from experts in the practice of BPM technologies. One can also find reference materials that can be easily downloaded and stored in a local computer. These materials could include informative articles, latest white papers, proposals, BPM manuals, and downloadable ebooks or books. Some BPM service providers offer links to important business journals and prestigious publications that discusses critical updates and new developments in the practice of business process management. In some BPM training centers, especially those that offer online elearning opportunities, trainees can take advantage of video conferencing tutorials. These are dedicated sessions which can provide in-depth discussions of critical issues surrounding the BPM practice. This is highly interactive because the online facilitator can answer queries. This is the most effective method of BPM tutorials. However, it could also involve an enrollment fee to get the services of an online tutor or facilitator.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BPM VENDORS

There are literally thousand of BPM vendors that currently offer different BPM suites, cross-organizational BPM software, and process applications. Some BPM vendors specialize in providing knowledge based products such as professional reading references and books. On the other hand, those that sell services and expertise can also be considered as BPM vendors. Consultancy firms, training centers, and BPM partner organizations will fall in this category. BPM vendors play a critical role in the development of BPM practice. They provide the necessary tools, engines, knowledge, and skills in helping managers and companies cope with the implementation of BPM projects.

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In order to find the most reliable BPM vendors, a manager could do two things. First, managers should take advantage of online guides and online reviews of different BPM vendors. There numerous websites that offer unbiased views and reviews of products and services offered by BPM vendors. These website usually belong to a large conglomerate of online resource providers maintained by industry leaders. Managers can be assured that these reviews are accurate and totally free of corporate bias. Other good sources of reviews are publications of business schools and management institutions. These journals are interested in propagating BPM knowledge and best practices and can give scathing critiques to BPM vendors that offer substandard products. The next thing that a manger can do in choosing the right BPM vendor is to seek the opinion of peers in the industry. The opinions of BPM practitioners can be biased but their bias can be the result of superior service provided by a BPM vendor. Managers can get the opinions of other practitioners through BPM forums, discussion boards, and online business groups.

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DISSECTING THE TERM BPM WORKFLOW

While it is easy to mistake one with the other, business process management and workflow are two very distinct entities with differences that matter to a lot of information technology professionals and business intelligence practitioners. To begin, workflow is actually concerned with the sequencing of activities in an application specific manner, using a predefined set of instructions that may contain one or two automated procedures which are software-based or manual work-based. BPM, on the other hand, is more concerned with the definition, implementation and management of different types of business processes that are independently defined of any single type of application. BPM is actually a workflow in a superset, which can also be differentiated using its ability to coordinate many activities through a wide channel of applications without sacrificing ease of control.

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So while the term BPM workflow may be coined in an understandably connected manner, such differences are still quite apparent. However, if one were to put such terms into one cohesive term, we might be able to come up with an acceptable explanation of BPM workflow being a system of repetitive coordinated orchestrations, wherein different processes are monitored and ensures success in a cyclical manner that repeats itself over and over again for as long as the channels remain steady. When workflow processes are connected to the single applications, the flow or the cyclical manner of the entire thing is then hardwired in order to accommodate other means of reaching or completing the same task or objective.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT C O N F E R E N C E : E L E VA T I N G B P M PRACTICES TO A HIGHER LEVEL

A business process management conference is a good venue for managers and management practitioners to get crucial information on the trends and developments in the field of process management. Information from these conferences will enable managers and their companies to adapt to the changing nature of business environments. Business processes today play a key role in improving the performance of companies. Faster growth rate and return on investment, increasing competitiveness, improvement of production and service deliveries, and improved customer relations can be realized through superior business process management.

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There is a great difference between companies that have optimized business processes and companies that have chaotic organizational setup. Through BPM conferences, managers as well as business leaders can get insights from the successful implementation of new process management methods. IT leaders and developers can also benefit from these conferences because new technology innovations are always on the agenda. The combination of process management and new technological tools is a significant leap in the science of management. Business leaders should not allow themselves to be left behind by the advances in current management practice. They can upgrade their knowledge and skills through process management conferences. These events play a decisive function in terms of consolidating and elevating the best practices of process management technologies and methods. These BPM conferences can also be useful for IT professionals, IT industry leaders, and software developers. The insights, ideas, issues, and concepts that can be produced by these conferences can serve as a trending pattern for the development of new and better technologies.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MODELING: C R E AT I N G C O N D U C I V E E N V I R O N M E N T S F O R C O M PA N Y EFFICIENCY

Business process modeling involves the ordering of different work flow and procedures that are needed to produce the necessary input and the desired output. When creating a business process model, analyst should take into consideration the actual and existing company processes as well as past protocols. This is important to identify elements in the process that are effective, ineffective, or those that need changes in order to work. Analysts should present the process model to managers and key executives in order to strengthen the understanding of the management team to the whole business process. It is important to unify the perspectives of each member of the team to the business process in order to avoid misunderstanding and wasteful implementation of company plans.

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A good business modeling tool should be able to capture relevant data and information on the current business processes. created in order to have a flexible process model. During modeling, different alternatives to the existing procedures should be A benchmark requirement for revisions to the process should also be set once an exception is encountered. This will add vitality to the whole business process model because it would not be stifled by rigid and dogmatic implementation of the required process. However, it is important to note also that these exceptions in the model should be deemphasized. What is important is the required business process model and all efforts should be exerted to carry it out. A business process analyst should use modeling tools that can be easily deployed during important planning conferences. Every step in the model should be clearly presented and unity should be achieved before proceeding to the next sub-model. The whole modeling should be completed after every sub-process has been created and agreed upon by the company's management team.

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THE KNOWLEDGE AREAS OF B U S I N E S S A N A LY S I S

The goal of business analysis involves the careful evaluation of activities and functions that in return, will result to a better process through efficient use of resources with reduced overall costs. This will also add more value to company / customer relationships, as products and services will keep on improving as time goes by, while removing nonvalue added and unnecessary work. Indeed, the role of business analysts in an organization is crucial, specifically in process improvement, as they are the ones validating the need to innovate from the usual. Since business analysis is such a huge concept, it is broken down further into six major knowledge areas. These are the following: 1. Enterprise Analysis: Also means understanding the business as a whole wherein it involves the planning and development of strategic plans and initiatives to achieve expected results; 2. Requirements Planning and Management: The determination of the needed resources to carry out the process should also be determined beforehand;

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3. Requirements Elicitation:

The technique used to collect

requirements from project stakeholders; 4. Requirements Analysis: Specifying the detailed requirements needed to successfully implement a project; 5. Requirements Communication: Describing the techniques and ensuring that stakeholders also receive a clear understanding of the requirements and how to these will be implemented; and 6. Solution Validation: Evaluate and verify the correctness of a proposed solution, how to support its implementation and assess possible problems or shortcomings that may be encountered. Since it is a fact that even systems that are in good working condition still tend to fail, there is a need to continuously develop possible countermeasures to ensure progress in such difficult and extreme cases.

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MAKING WORK EASIER THROUGH BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT S O F T WA R E

Have you ever wondered how life will be like without Information Technology (IT)? This is something that is not worthy to ponder on since life without IT is like walking in a street with no beaming lights or road signs. Just take into consideration the time and effort that could have been used wisely to work on other things will definitely cause companies a lot of bucks. It is a good thing that Business Process Management (BPM) software applications were introduced to make work easier and a lot faster. As most typical commercially available software tools, the BPM software is used to drive business process improvement aside from automating company wide practices in producing quality goods and services to consumers. This is done by extracting data from a company's business operation and accomplishing one of these two things:

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1. Draw existing business processes by doing tracking and monitoring schemes to determine how business information is utilized within the system; and 2. Make sure that every business process in being followed consistently by facilitating data through a wide range of tasks. It is through the above-mentioned methods can BPM serve to point out certain deficiencies within the company's business processes. Determination of such deficiencies will lead as to where the company loses most of its money and resources, things that hinder business success from being accomplished. However, the road to achieving business process improvement does not end just there. It is then the company leaders' turn to come up with strategies that will optimize and streamline business processes a thing that is both promising yet quite risky at the same time.

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BUSINESS PERFORMANCE M A N A G E M E N T: T H E D R I V I N G FORCE OF BUSINESS

Business Performance Management (BPM) may come with a lot of different names such as Operational Performance Management, Corporate Performance Management or Enterprise Performance Management but all of these mean the same thing, which is a set of processes that aim to drive business performance through careful analysis, organization and automation of business methodologies, metrics and systems. It is also seen as a business strategy to help companies make optimum use of resources (i.e. human, material) to produce goods and services in a more timely and efficient manner. Now, how can companies measure performance? There are a lot of practices that are being used nowadays to help companies determine the efficiency of a project and its employees. One of these is through the use of a Business Process Management, wherein certain pre-determined metrics, sometimes referred to as key performance indicators (KPI's), are being established to assess the present state of business operations.

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The actual performance is then scored against operational targets and collected results will be evaluated further to determine the best course of action thereafter. BPM can be used in a lot of different areas of the business. Some of which include the following: A. Customer subscription, retention and attrition; B. Campaign Management; C. Call center metrics; D. Marketing channel analysis; E. Real-time dashboard; F. Clickstream analysis; G. Collection of bad debts; and H. Demographics analysis. As clearly indicated by the abovementioned areas, BPM integrates business processes with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to be able to influence customer trends, gauge customer satisfaction and control shareholder value.

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T H E T H R E E C AT E G O R I E S O F B A S I N B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S A N A LY S I S

There are a lot of key people in the Business Process Analysis arena, wherein everyone is expected to drive at one single goal that is to cut costs while demonstrating wise use of company resources to better support customers. These special teams of individuals are also known as Business Analysts (BAs). It is indeed true that the scope of Business Process Analysis is so vast that business analysts are given options to specialize in one of these three categories that constitute the scope of business analysis. These are the following: 1. Strategists: Business analysts under this category are more focused on developing strategic plans on a continuous basis. They are very well-versed in analyzing the profile of a certain organization and its environment. Coming up with such an analysis can serve as a recommendation for top level management with a comprehensive discussion of its effects on the policy decision-making process.

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2. Architects: These types of business analysts are not focused on IT-related issues but of business process improvement (BPI) or reengineering. Architects possess hard and soft skills that are needed in the business redesign or improvement phase. Hard skills include business process modeling and soft skills consist of requirements engineering, stakeholder analysis and knowledge of the business. 3. Systems Analysts: The role of these types of business analysts is to better understand and define the requirements of IT systems to get the best returns out of these investments. The main focus of systems analysts is always into the IT-related part of the change process.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS PROCESS A U TO M AT I O N : A B I G D I F F E R E N C E ?

Many people are confused of whether to use the term Business Process Management (BPM) or Business Process Automation (BPA) as far as business processes are concerned. These two are so similar that people tend to interchange one from the other or they might as well believe that there is no difference between these two concepts. Is there such a distinction from these two? Here is a summary of what business process experts have to say. For BPM, it is necessary to define all the business processes running inside the organization first before there is a need to automate. Clearly identifying these key processes and analyzing whether these are aligned with business goals and objectives will urge the need to change or redefine business processes to achieve optimum results.

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For BPA, there is first a need to automate the current process before business analysis should take place. By doing so, measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the automated process will deliver immediate benefits, thus creating more value to the company and its customers as well. Though there may be a bit of variation on the context of when to automate the business process, still both perspectives are complementary with each other to some extent. This is because both have almost the same concept as far as business automation is concerned. Similarly, process improvement methodologies appear to align well on both BPM and BPA, as both terms strive to make processes more efficient and the same time, reduce if not totally eliminate, the presence of defects on any given project, which will result to a more consistent approach in doing business.

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THE FOCUS AREAS OF BUSINESS P R O C E S S C O N S U LT I N G

An increase in profitability as brought about by the production of quality goods and services has always been one of the primary goals of most organizations. Come to think of it, who would not want to get a considerably big amount of investment returns after careful planning and execution of certain business processes? With this in mind, some organizations also turn to Business Process Consulting, which is a practical approach of understanding business processes in conjunction with various major business drivers. For Business Process Consulting, there are some focus areas that the whole organization should be made aware of. These are the following: A. Objectives are the pre-determined organizational goals in which every process should be aligned with it to measure business success. B. Strategies involve the planning of activities that will be done to drive performance and favorable business results.

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C. Processes are the procedures and methodologies used to carry out business functionalities. D. Organization defines the need for appropriate staffing who will perform the processes involved in any business project. E. Technology is the introduction of the different tools used to automate business operations such as software applications, hardware devices, and equipment that will support organizational strategies. F. Management is the effective and efficient deployment of company resources on each area of the organization. There are a lot of institutions that provide Business Process Consulting needs to an organization, each promises to provide effective coaching on major critical areas of the organization. The ability to create a new business process solution is a must to provide more value to clients.

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THE SIX STEPS TO BUSINESS PROCESS REENGINEERING

If process engineering focuses on the design, maintenance and operation of material and chemical manufacturing processes, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), on the other hand, is a type of management style that aims to improve current business processes, in such a way that such changes will result to more effective and efficient approach in doing business. Reengineering means that there is a need to restructure and streamline activities, therefore removing non-value adding tasks. This process will take quite a while or will depend on the urgency to innovate. Here are six steps to be followed to come up with a more reliable structure in obtaining expected business results:

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1. Envision New Processes: Before redesigning will be done, there is a need to project first how these new processes will be carried out and determine if these are still aligned with corporate strategy. This also involves securing management support that will be in charge in identifying possible reengineering opportunities. 2. Initiate Change: Changes in the current process also means restructuring manpower that will facilitate changes and outline performance goals as necessary. 3. Process Diagnosis: Create a baseline by describing existing processes to cover pathologies. 4. Process Redesign: Developing a new process design or

alternative process scenarios are being worked on while gathering feedback to continuously improve the system. 5. Reconstruct: This is the actual execution phase wherein the IT solution is already up and running, thus resulting to process changes. 6. Process Monitoring: The quest to develop a better system does not end at reconstruction. Constant monitoring schemes should still be in place by measuring key performance metrics such as cost, quality and time, which will be used for future process developments.

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THE SIX STEPS OF BUSINESS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

For Business Process Improvement (BPI) to take place, a collaborative effort coming from both the management and its employees should be in place to ensure that significant changes that will be done in the system will create a huge impact on both the company and its customers in as far as the delivery of products and services are concerned. To realize this, BPI typically involves these six steps: 1. Selection of process leaders and team members: To get started, there is a need to select a competent group of goal-driven individuals whose skills match pre-determined requirements in carrying out a certain process. A team leader is either selected from this group or assigned by the management. 2. Process analysis training: To gain more knowledge about the process, the chosen members of the team will undergo skills enhancement training (e.g. documentation techniques, process analysis).

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3. Process analysis interview: Experienced people working at the company can also be interviewed by the members of the process team to gather the needed information about process performance data and structure. 4. Process documentation: The collected data will then be used to draw a process map, which will serve as the basis for smooth integration of possible process improvement schemes within the system. 5. Review cycle: Once the documentation is done, the employees who will work on the process will then review the draft and reevaluate it as necessary. 6. Problem analysis: Anticipation of possible problems that may be encountered along the way should be prioritized and at the same time, derive countermeasures for continuous process improvement.

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THE THREE FUNCTIONAL TYPES OF BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT S O F T WA R E

There are a lot of Business Process Management (BPM) software packages around - most of which present almost identical features but at the same time, a touch of uniqueness in them as certain functions integrated with some set them apart from the rest. This is the reason why it is a bit challenging to categorize BPM software, but nonetheless, here are the three software types with functions that are innate in almost all BPM packages. A. Workflow-based applications: This software type suggests how processes can be efficiently delegated to automated systems and team members. To get this done, a workflow software requires a detailed map of existing business processes and these are then carefully evaluated to take on the task of automating certain steps to deliver optimum results and performance, hence increasing customer satisfaction. However, since a workflow software is applied to a fix process, making certain adjustments or improvements on it may not be permitted.

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B. Efficiency monitoring software: Determining the weak link that makes the process chain ineffective or unsuccessful is the main goal of this type of BPM software. This is accomplished by carefully monitoring the process from start to finish, possessing built-in application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect with any enterprise system during the course of a business process. Identifying such constraints will make it easier for the management to find methods of overcoming them through a series of careful strategic planning. C. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tools: This is a combination of both workflow-based and efficiency monitoring software applications. This tool use APIs to extract information from various systems that will result to an increase in the level of efficiency of business processes.

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T H E T H R E E S T R AT E G I E S I N V O LV E D
IN

DEVELOPING A BUSINESS

PROCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

Every business process should be aligned with company goals and objectives. This has been the main reason why Business Process Management (BPM) solutions to promote efficiency in all business operations is crucial in meeting the needs and wants of customers. As a holistic management approach, BPM makes it possible to transform ideas into applicable solutions with the guidance from these BPM strategies: 1. Business Process Design: To realize how certain processes have to be done, there is a need to develop a graphical illustration that describes each functional aspect of the business. This also includes well-defined process roles and flow of activities that will eventually result to the creation of a business process model. This design should be visible to all end users to promote consistency in performance and increased productivity.

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2. Business Process Simulation: This is when the simulation of the actual business process takes place. Before this is done, there should be precision as to what and how resources will be used, how much costs will be spent, and how much time is needed to get things done. These are just some of a few factors that should be taken into consideration during process simulation that will result to the identification of information that allows the management and end users of the possible issues that may be encountered during the actual process implementation. 3. Business Process Development: Once tasks to be performed were identified, building a complete process-driven application is such an amazing option that the management should take that will act as primary support in doing business processes. This executable application can then be used to automate tasks to produce results in a timely manner.

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THE CONCEPT BEHIND BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT TOOLS

The Business Process Management (BPM) market has definitely reached greater heights as more and more companies are producing BPM tools to help organizations in aligning strategies and processes with business objectives and goals. Proper analysis and evaluation of existing practices can definitely make a huge impact on the way business processes are being handled. To produce optimum results, there is a need to automate business operations and BPM tools can just be the longawaited answer to certain challenges and dilemmas of some organizations. BPM tools have a wide range of usage across all levels of the business industry. Though it does matter to choose the appropriate BPM tool to use, still the most important thing to do is to focus on the process outcomes and everything else will follow. If BPM analysis tools are used to map out existing processes, the modeling tool, on the other hand, help organizations in the proper deployment of software applications that implement processes such as document management.

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Some BPM software vendors that offer suites with process management and deployment tools, business engines and modelers include the following: BEA Systems, Appian, EMC (ProActivity), Ultimus, IDS Scheer, Cordys, Lombardi Software, Global360, Pegasystems, Metastorm, Savvion, HandySoft, Tibco Software and IBM. There are also some that offer dedicated modeling tools such as Casewise, automating document and workflow processes tools such as IBM (FileNet), Adobe Systems, Interwoven and EMC (Documentum), Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tools such as Tibco, BEA, and WebMethods, and BPM management tools for health care systems such as Siemens Medical Solutions.

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T H E F I V E C AT E G O R I E S O F BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT

Business Process Management focuses on the alignment of various interrelated tasks that aim to efficiently deliver and satisfy the needs and wants of customers and/or clients. These sets of activities can be grouped into five different categories and these are the following: 1. Design; 2. Modeling; 3. Execution; 4. Monitoring; and 5. Optimization. Process design can be compared to an architectural design of a house, wherein it encompasses all activities involved during the planning and development stage of a business process. It may include the creation of process maps, alerts, standard operating procedures and service level agreements to make up a theoretically efficient design process.

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Process modeling focuses on the introduction of different resource, cost and other constraint scenarios derived from the design process to realize how it will run under various operating circumstances. Process execution is the integration of human intervention to software applications to carry out the required steps for a business process. Process monitoring involves tracking of individual processes to determine progress on each level and come up with statistical data on the performance of one or more processes. The degree of monitoring depends on the management itself as to what particular constructs are to be measured and evaluated through real-time or ad-hoc monitoring. Process optimization is all about process improvement. After the information regarding process performance from the early phases of the cycle has been determined, the next step is to evaluate and identify the potential aspects of the business process that can make room for cost savings and other improvements. In addition, potential threats on the system are also determined to continuously develop a more stable business process in the future.

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S T R AT E G I C P L A N N I N G T H R O U G H BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

The massive growth of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in countries such as India, the Philippines, China, Egypt and Bangladesh just goes to show that a lot of companies nowadays are on the lookout to find better ways to cut costs in certain areas of business operations such as payroll, accounting and customer service. Come to think of it, outsourcing is the best alternative that the company has, as it will bring about several advantages and benefits. Worrying will not be an option anymore as the third party service provider will do anything on the company's behalf. Currently, there are two BPO categories: 1. front office outsourcing, which involves customer-related services including tech support; and 2. back office outsourcing, which involves internal business functions including billing, purchasing and collections. A BPO company may also be

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A. on-shore outsourcing, wherein the third-party service provider is located within the company's own country; B. near-shore outsourcing, wherein BPO work is given to a company's neighboring country; or C. off-shore outsourcing, wherein the contracted company is outside the company's own country. Such significant change in company strategy has been brought about by the desire to gain more from less. Usually, BPO companies have a large talent pool with minimum labor costs. However, since the service is provided by third party providers, it is the client's prerogative to establish metrics with targets that the company has to meet to measure performance. Failure to meet pre-determined requirements may mean termination of the account from the client, which is the reason why appropriate training and quality checks should be performed at all times.

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T H E R O L E O F I N F O R M AT I O N TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS PROCESS REENGINEERING

Why is that business processes keep on changing? Can companies just adopt a single process and take it from there? For obvious reasons, business leaders can not just sit in a certain spot and not do anything to make improvements on the system. This has been the goal of certain business systems such as Business Process Reengineering or BPR, which is to make continuous improvements in terms of efficiency and quality of certain processes that exist within or across organizations. Business Process Reengineering may come in a lot of different names such as Business Process Redesign, Business Process Change Management or Business Transformation, but same concepts do apply. Information technology plays a major role in coming up with strategic plans in redesigning business processes. Since almost everything is being run by computer systems, company employees have to undergo training just to remain competitive in preparation for certain challenges that may come along the way, given that some programs may become unreliable over time.

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Such disruptive technologies include: A. Shared databases make information accessible to specific spots within the organization; B. Wireless data communication access information while away from company premises such as doing field work and other related stuff; C. Telecommunications network to keep the smooth flow of information across all employees; D. Experts systems allows specific number of people do specific tasks under the same roof; E. Automatic tracking database management is always a part of any business process to easily locate documents or files needed to carry out certain work loads; and F. Interactive videodisk to make oneself available to potential clients as convenient as possible.

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THE MANY USES OF BUSINESS P R O C E S S M A N A G E M E N T S O F T WA R E

A business process management (BPM) software is one of the in demand software products nowadays. The need to find better ways on how to put the company on a competitive edge must come from the idea that certain changes has to be made in the system, and purchasing a BPM software can deliver just that. In the quest to satisfactorily meet the needs and demands of a client, structured activities that are aligned with the company's business goals and objectives should be carefully thought of. Automating business processes through BPM software

applications is one brilliant strategic plan that will work effectively once handled well. Producing top quality goods and services will not only bring pride to business owners but a thousand benefits to prospective users as well.

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In addition to automating business processes, the BPM software is also used to provide a graphical process model that aims to reduce the complexities of having to understand the different process levels within the system. By just merely looking at the process model, one may get an idea as to how business processes are being performed, which results to an increase in employee productivity. Some BPM software packages also include performance tracking tools that can be used to measure individual performance using metrics with predefined targets as specified by the company itself. However, there is also a need to regularly monitor how the BPM software behaves in certain difficult situations to make some recommendations on how it can be improved as well. This is often a result of a mutual coordination between people and technology - two very significant factors with very distinct roles toward business success.

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A B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S : TA K I N G A CLOSER LOOK

Many people dream of working even at a small space in a tall building while wearing a nicely done uniform. Yes, this is a typical office work wherein employees are expected to get things done efficiently in a small period of time. These interrelated tasks that make everyone busy in a certain work environment constitute a business process. In general, a business process (also called as business method) is a set of activities that that needs to be carried out to produce a service or a product to meet the demands of a client or customer. There are a lot of sub-processes involved in a business process to achieve company goals and objectives. But then again, managing a business process tends to focus on two areas. First is people, wherein appropriate staffing must be determined to perform activities that lead to understanding of customer's needs and at the same time, make process improvements. Second is technology, which is the use of software applications, equipment and machinery to accomplish business goals.

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There are also three main types of business processes and these are: A. Management processes, which are the processes governing the operation of a certain system such as Strategic Management; B. Operational processes, which are the processes that create the primary value stream and make up the core business such as Sales and Marketing; C. Supporting processes, which are the processes that hold up and sustain the core processes such as Accounting and IT Support. These types of business processes make up the several levels or departments within an organization, perfectly structured to obtain business success.

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TRANSFORMING BUSINESS PROCESSES INTO WORKING A P P L I C AT I O N S

Coming up with an application that can be used to automate business processes is one thing that every organization should focus on. Not only that this will result to faster execution of tasks, but it will also make it more convenient for end users in carrying out activities that will eventually result to earlier realization of company business goals and objectives. To transform such an application into a living entity, here is a set of BPM strategies to be considered. A. Business Process Execution: The development of the process engine with executable client applications paves the way for the creation of a business environment with a series of processes attached to it. The end users complete the cycle, as they are the operators of the application. This is often considered the heart of any BPM solution.

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B. Business Process Operation: The process engine will then keep a record of all the events that happened on each processes. It usually stores the time it takes to accomplish a certain process, the user involved and its outcome. These are then evaluated at a later time to make further adjustments or improvements on process operations whenever applicable. There is also a possibility that other activities including proper delegation, instance creation and routing will also be reviewed. C. Business Process Monitoring: Creating a dashboard to monitor and review data critical to business growth and development should be done to make business owners aware of certain issues that may arise along the way. To accomplish this, certain metrics have to be established to accurately determine the current state of the process.

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T H E S E V E R A L FA C T O R S B E H I N D
THE

SUCCESS OF MOST BUSINESS

SYSTEMS

Being on top of the competition has always been the primary goal of most companies, which is the main reason why business systems keep on improving through the years. For a business system to successfully work in favor of the company and its customers, a lot of factors and queries must be taken into consideration. Some of which include the following: 1. Baseline: To measure performance of a business system or program, there should be an established baseline that will serve as the control. Usually, the initial data that was collected will act as the baseline and the succeeding results or scores will determine the effectiveness of processes involved in the business system.

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2. Goal Alignment: This item is all about company objectives and strategic goals that will lead the way in measuring success. Having well defined goals will result to a synchronized alignment of activities and processes that will eventually result to improved performance. 3. Metrics: Creating standard metrics to measure performance is another critical phase of the business program, which usually depends on the management and the products or services to be measured. Metrics should always be reachable, reasonable and logical, just to be fair in acquiring such valuable information. 4. Customers and Stakeholders: Determining the people who will benefit from the initiative and who will pay for it is another important factor to be considered so as to come up with better strategic plans that will result to an increase on the level of satisfaction, not only of customers, but employees and shareholders as well. 5. Cost and Risk Analysis: Estimating the financial cost and identifying possible risk factors is necessary in coming up with better business decisions.

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THE THREE ELEMENTS OF B U S I N E S S T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

As an executive management initiative, Business Transformation revolves around three significant elements to make business strategies work. These are: 1. People; 2. Processes; and 3. Technology. All of which play a major role in coming up with innovative ways to improve the current setup. Through proper realignment of these three elements, Business Transformation will always result to achievement of business goals and objectives.

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People are the key individuals in the organization who will implement business transformation. From the top level management all the way down to ordinary employees, everyone should be committed and dedicated by seeing to it that every single detail is in accordance with company objectives. As members of the leadership team, managers and supervisors should live by example and take necessary measures to facilitate change in a way that subordinates will completely understand. Processes are the activities that make each business transformation possible. With the help of proper training and coaching, every single process will be done smoothly while thinking of alternative options to do work that will produce the same results but this time, with a cut in costs and time. Proper use of resources is also one of the priorities of business transformation. Technology includes machinery and all hardware and software applications that can help automate business processes and functions. There are several approaches that companies can take depending on the types of products and services being offered. A lot of equipment and applications are regularly introduced in the market today, which just goes to show that modern technology has really influenced the way business is being handled.

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HOW A BUSINESS PROCESS C O N S U LTA N T W O R K S I N A C T I O N

A lot of information technology professionals and business process practitioners also have other responsibilities aside from developing technological tools and figuring out the best ways to make a system work more smoothly. One of the responsibilities of people involved in business process management like information technology leaders and business industry managers is acting as a consultant specifically, as a consultant in the realm of BPM or business process management. This is because for a particular system to work, one must also concentrate on the way things are being conducted and not just on the kind of technology that is being used to come up or produce with the desired outputs. In actuality, the business process consultant may also decide to just manage a team of experts and guide them in the direction they want to take in the course of their work.

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A business process consultant may also serve as a model for the rest of the team, first conducting his own implements and then later stepping aside in order to give others a chance. If the business process consultant wants the entire system to work as best as it could, he or she needs to provide the rest of the staff with adequate feedback and with additional instructions they can easily follow so as to create the necessary adjustments in the business processing system they are working with. Indeed, a business process consultant has many responsibilities but if such are fulfilled well, it could spell great results for all of them.

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HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT BUSINESS P R O C E S S C O N S U LTA N T S

There are two general types of business process consultants that companies can find on the market. The first type specializes on the development and use of business processes and the second type specializes on the technological aspect of the business process. Companies should determine their need when looking for the right business process consultant. In this way, the company can really benefit from the expertise provided by the consultant. Companies that need skills development and capability building in the reorganization and re-engineering of their business processes should hire a development-driven, business process oriented consultant. When companies need to develop their competencies in process management, these types of consultants are the ideal choice. The principal aim of capability development is to understand the different business processes and know the details of process techniques needed for business process reorganization. The consultant can guide managers by designing a strategic map of proposed business development initiatives and the necessary management process required to achieve strategic initiatives.

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On the other hand, companies that have a set standard of business process practice but will implement new technologies to systematize and automate the process need a technology-oriented business process consultant. These consultants specialize not on the process itself but how to make the process the object of management tools. Companies will benefit from the consultant's expertise in using software and business applications needed to optimize the business process. This type of business process consultant can help companies adopt technological innovations that are needed to make the business process work.

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BREAKING DOWN THE BUSINESS PROCESS DESIGN

If one were to clearly define how the business process design works, it would probably take several discussions in order to come up with an image or a graphical representation of all the nooks and crannies of every conceivable type of design. But in a nutshell, a business process design is simply the cohesiveness of a set of structured as well as measured activities that all work together in order to come up with a certain output for the said business's customer, client or target market. A good business process design indicates a very strong emphasis on how the work is exactly conducted in all areas or subsystems of the entire organization, as opposed to simply focusing on a particular product's emphasis or avenue.

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The process design them ought to have a very specific set of ordered work activities throughout time and the given or allocated space for such a project, with a well-defined beginning and a clear direction of how the product will end. Inputs and outputs are well stated so the people who are tasked with following the design will have an easier time doing so. For businesses to come up with very good outputs and satisfy their clients, they will need a business process design that is up to par with industry standards. This is easy if the rest of the team is able to contribute all their inputs, put them together, compare it with other existing business process design in the market (or their competitors), test it on an experimental market and finally launch it to work.

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T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S I N T E G R AT I O N

For companies to succeed, what they truly need, aside from the latest technologies, the most competent staff and a drive and commitment to excellence would be excellent integration in terms of the many avenues of their business processes. Each avenue or subsystem ought not to be treated as a separate entity rather, it will prove far useful for him or her to see the bigger picture. The trick to business process integration is to know where certain aspects meet smoothly and create connections where it may be logical to do so. For example, marketing processes and advertising engines can be connected in such a way that what is being designed in the marketing system fully and directly impacts the kind of advertising that the ad system plans to launch.

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If there is integration in the system, the staff will also have an easier time coordinating with one another, thereby increasing the company's production rate and operating at a much more efficient time compared to how they used to do things in the past. Business process integration will bring in more supporters in terms of clients, customers and the many types of target markets, due to high levels of customer satisfaction. And if the customers or the market is satisfied, it will only mean greater funds and bigger income for the company. As it turns out, business process integration is an avenue, which all business practitioners ought to look into because it can surely do much to turn a company around for the better.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT BPM AND MORE

Businesses nowadays are governed with various techniques and methodologies to survive in the competitive, corporate world. Every process and every project needs some sort of objective study to bring out the best output. There are process management systems that are focused on cutting costs and minimizing waste. Meanwhile some are emphasized at the experimentation and scientific study of the practices in various industries. One of the widely used business management methodology is the Six Sigma which uses different statistical tools to reduce wastage and costs. It has been used by many large corporations worldwide. In addition, BPM or business process management points out that there is a need for thorough analysis and objective study to exemplify good management. Business practices should never be based on by mere common sense. BPM and Six Sigma both deal with facts and data obtained by calculations and choosing the right operations is a must. Substantial execution and teamwork plays a very significant role in the whole process and these combinations would surely result to a breakthrough performance if properly employed.

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It is not enough that the only the top management is dedicated to the projects but the employees should work hand in hand to make a systematical plan to increase customer satisfaction and quality products. Business process management, together with Six Sigma, will help you rise above the rest. If you want to develop and improve your business, you should know the various process management systems and make sure that you choose the one which best applies to your industry.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT C O N S U LTA N T S : P R O V I D I N G C R I T I C A L S U P P O RT TO C O M PA N I E S

Change is always a painful process. As in any other endeavor, the introduction of change normally encounters resistance or confusion. In business process management, change is a constant feature. The utilization of innovative technologies and methods in the current practice of process management always involve profound changes in management techniques and business orientation. To minimize or to eradicate a painful transition to process management methodologies, companies need to get the assistance of a competent business process management consultant.

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A business process management consultant can provide valuable help in the initial adoption of process technologies by guiding managers and key personnel in using tools needed for new business processes. These tools may be alien technologies to managers. Consultants therefore can familiarize managers on the intricacies of BPM tools. A competent process consultant can also develop the skills of managers in designing a business process model that is geared towards the realization of strategic company objectives. Managers can learn how to make the process serve company strategies and how to utilize current organizational network as a vehicle in delivering the new business process. BPM consultants are also valuable in developing the competency of the company's IT environment in supporting BPM applications. BPM necessitates the introduction of new engines and rules to run the application. IT support is critical in this area of BPM. The consultant can provide essential technical know-how and can train IT personnel in maintaining a BPM capable IT architecture. The changes and innovations involved in the implementation of BPM could be easily adopted by companies especially if a technical BPM consultant is at hand to provide critical assistance.

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W H AT B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S M A N A G E M E N T C O N S U LT I N G I S A L L ABOUT

Business process management consulting has reached such great popularity because of the advantages it gives to those who want to achieve success in the corporate world. Not to mention the number of large corporations who owe their triumph to this management consultation scheme. If you are a starter in the business realm, you definitely need a form of training or consultation in order to gain the proper knowledge on various aspects. As a businessman, you should know how to come up with efficient process management plans.

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By hiring business process management consultants, this would definitely make the job easier and the difficult terms, lighter on the head. Moreover, these consultants surely know the latest trends and newest methods there is to know. They can offer you the vital information you need. But before anything else, you should be very aware on how to choose the best business process management consulting firm there is. Make sure that you find a firm that has a good reputation and is recommended by reputable industries and companies. It is not enough that you choose the consultant who will ask for a lesser cost. Furthermore, he should be responsible enough in providing links to other companies that are related to your business for a wider range of sources. The coaching and support that he will provide will primarily depend on your needs. It is best if you take things one at a time starting from the basics up to the more complicated areas. And never hesitate to ask your business process management consultant about the things you do not clearly understand.

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NECESSARY STEPS TO BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT DEFINITION

The essence of business process management is to accomplish work. This is a management methodology that focuses on speed and efficiency through optimization of individual process. Playing a key role in this endeavor is the accurate definition of business process management. Process definition involves the determination of actual company goals and the modeling of appropriate business processes to accomplish those goals. In business process management definition, evaluation of previous practices is important in order to determine if there are defects in the work flow. These defects can be studied to determine if its source is systemic or cultural.

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If process weaknesses were due to system dysfunction, it would be easier to correct. It could be solved by defining new processes and work flow models. If defects are caused by existing cultural values of the company, then an entire reorientation and redefinition of company values is in order. BPM will not work in an unfavorable environment especially if the organization is averse to comprehensive changes. BPM definition then can proceed after reorientation and this definition should be carefully introduced to the entire organization. In this way the new BPM model and its concomitant work flow process can function at optimum capacity. Process automation as a result of BPM and reengineering of the entire process map and rules can push forward accordingly. Integration of personnel as well as entire company sub-divisions can be easily accomplished. If this is done, business process management definition and the implementation of new techniques can work seamlessly.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS AND MUCH MORE

If you want to attain business process management solutions, you should see to it that your groups of employees are fully aware of the missions and goals of your company. It is not enough that they know it by mind. It is very essential that they know it by heart. Having a combined group effort in the workplace is a surefire way to completing the tasks effectively and obtaining the expected results. This is one of the solutions that could take your company to greater heights. Thorough planning and applying the right method of attaining them is an efficient way of creating a bridge to where you are aimed at. Under these is the decision-making process and of course, the selection from among the alternatives and sources available. The factors should be included in the planning because this may cause some conflict in some part of the project. There may be some factors, which is beyond one's control that is why these should be included in the analysis. This is to ensure that the best procedure and process will be employed.

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You may not know it but business process management solutions could be a painstaking process. The organization should be aware of the various tools and the estimates that will take part in the decision making process and in determining the method of action. Moreover, the proper approach should be carried out with all the other standards of control followed. Without it, one cannot attain great customer satisfaction and improved management solution.

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A SOLID BPM SUITE

There are many business process management suites out in the market today, but one thing that they all have in common is that they are all used to model, monitor, integrate and optimize the different processes that all flow across the entire enterprise. Business process management suites work to build on and extend the varied capabilities of the suite by allowing different encapsulated applications to operate in accordance to one another as well as in more discreet units that are part of automation. At the core of this, can be found the suite engine that should be compliant with Oasis 1.1, at the very least. Business process management suites do not only work to meet the different specifications of compliancy, they also act as a complete solution that can facilitate the entire business process management lifecycle. This also includes in its wide set of features an editor for the design, and can visualize and deploy the different business processes, including: BPRE (or Business process runtime environment) required for the exact execution of the business processes that were deployed to them;

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BPRE logging service (used to track down the real time process execution of activities as well as data for analysis); and BPRE integration that also includes complete open integration code and SPI or service providers interface. The key highlights of a good business management suite aside from being Oasis 1.1 compliant is that it must be fully executable, can easily deploy business logic, connect to plug and play integration using auto code, high performance and excellent throughput and an efficient return on investment.

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THE BENEFITS OF EMPLOYING A BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

What is business process management anyway? Well, it is simply a method of scheming and sustaining a workplace that consists of people or individuals working together in clusters to effectively bring about desired objectives and aims. Each member of the organization should know well enough their tasks and roles in the project. Like, for example, the manager is the one responsible in carrying out the planning, staffing, controlling and in leading the tasks. The business process management system applies to any kind of organization and it is applicable to managers at all management levels. Many business experts believe that in order for an organization to survive in the market, it should have a proper approach on the five managerial functions which include the planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and leading. This is relevant to small and large corporations, industrial and profit or non profit enterprises.

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On the other hand, the degree of focus or emphasis is different for each of these process management systems and the approach may differ. Like, for instance, the top management allocates plenty of time on the planning and organizing. Meanwhile the next level managers are into controlling and monitoring the groups involved in the project. Thus, the amount of time spent on each task greatly varies. Business process management systems are flexible and can be modified depending on the company's needs. The type of system you will incorporate greatly depends on the situation and on the degree of complexity of the project. It is basically performing a task in an organized way to achieve the objectives and expected results.

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GETTING AHEAD WITH BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

If the business process management system is not efficient, then this means that the managers and the employees are not doing their tasks properly. And if this is the case, the business may hardly survive in the ever-changing business world. As population gets higher, the number of corporations increases also. As a result, competition is tougher and harder. It is not enough that you have a standard of controls or procedure to carry out the tasks and projects. There should be a business process management system involved in these endeavors. This could be the one lacking your industry. You should know how it can boost your sales, improve your employee's motivation and develop greater customer satisfaction. Do not force your subordinates to work their tasks out by adding more pressure to them. This is not a good way of managing your system. You can try regrouping them based on their skills and abilities. Moreover, be very particular in orienting them with the company's objectives and aims. And when it comes to establishing deadlines, be reasonable enough.

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By making a checklist and monitoring your employees from time to time will provide a better business process management system. Just make sure that you provide them with all the forms and instructions they need in order to perform the task flawlessly. Moreover, it is best that you expose them through various trainings and conventions that focus on different process management systems and their applications. In this way, they would have a clearer perspective on the projects in the future.

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W H AT A R E B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S MANAGEMENT TOOLS?

There are lots of business process management tools that can be downloaded from the Internet. Process management tools are important applications that can make business planning, processes documentations, and business modeling easier. Managers could make use of these tools to systematize and organize their work flow processes and automate important business process documentations. Business process management tools are usually packaged as a stand alone application or a part of business software suite package. It is important though to remember that to effectively use BPM tools, one should have a clear understanding of the work process itself so that the right tools can be applied. For enterprise mapping and modeling, the right business process management tools are analysis and modeling software. By using business analysis tools, managers can have a powerful application to efficiently optimize their processes and business solutions. Usually, analysis and modeling software is used to reinforce existing enterprise rules engines.

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These applications can be deployed enterprise-wide in order to unify different process flow of companies and to automate the interaction of different programs for tighter data integration. There are also specific business process management tools that have the ability to manage particular areas of concern in an enterprise. There are asset management tools, budgeting and financials software, and other similar applications that target specific work flow segment of a company. Niche businesses can also make use of management process tools that could cater to their own niche. Healthcare professionals and administrators can utilize software that specifically integrates work flow process and data sources of medical institutions.

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THE TWO ASPECTS OF BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT TRAINING

Even when companies have in their hands the easiest, breeziest software that will not take a lot of time to study and get familiar with, anyone who is going to be in charge of such a system will need some form of training to help him or her operate the business process system smoothly, as well as learning how to troubleshoot and deal with little hiccups here and there. In business process management training, one needs to make sure that both aspects are covered: the information technology aspect, which is purely automated and mechanical, and the other more human and manual aspect, which is customer service and people management. The business process management trainee will need to learn how the entire system operates, from the smallest command to the most complicated and multivariate one. He or she will need to familiarize himself or herself with all the keys, commands and formulas that are required for the system to run smoothly. In addition to this, he or she will also need to learn how he or she can lead an entire team to success.

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Since the business process management system deals with all levels, areas and avenues of the entire enterprise, one will definitely need the necessary management skills in order to command and delegate work that is sure to be part and parcel of his or her role as a leader and a captain of business process management. If the two important avenues of business process management are studied and applied in the most careful way possible, it is highly unlikely that the system will fall to pieces and it is also guaranteed to have a smaller number of errors due to oversight.

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W H AT C A N B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S MANAGEMENT DO FOR YOU?

Business process management or BPM as it is more popularly known in many corporate circles has been around for quite some time now, so it is hardly the new kid on the block. However, the system has not been applied by many organizations until the boom of information technology. Perhaps such a sudden influx in the users of business process management can be traced to its two important areas: information technology and management of human resources. The information technology aspect of business process management refers the software itself that actually makes the system run and monitor the entire organization. The human aspect, on the other hand, refers to the leader's capacity to lead his or her team to action. Business process management is a great addition to any organization, because if one were to apply such a system in his or her enterprise he or she is guaranteed to up his or her production levels while at the same time reducing the costs of production.

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Thanks to business process management, many organizations were able to come up with high quality products or high quality output in half the time it used to take them, resulting in more satisfied customers and a general clamor for more excellent products and services. When this happens, a company can only do so much to prepare itself for the sudden influx of new clients all waiting to have their turn to experience that particular company's offerings all thanks to the successful implementation of business process management.

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4 KEY STEPS TO BUSINESS PROCESS MAPPING

Business process mapping enables managers to accurately analyze company business processes. This is an effective tool to standardize different business objectives, know in real time what tasks are being accomplished and most importantly, how the company processes affect customer relations and management. There are four steps to business process mapping that every management professional can follow. Identifying these steps and applying it to the company's business processes could greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the work flow. First, managers should be able to identify different work processes that are being implemented. Knowing the process of each component of the company is crucial in understanding how work should be done and how it could serve the needs of customers.

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Second, once the process is identified it is now necessary to gather data and information on the intricacies of the different business processes. Managers should be able to gather information regarding the key personnel involved in the work process. These individuals can make changes to the process so they should be involved in crafting the process map. Other pertinent information that should be gathered includes process objectives, risks, control mechanisms, and measures of milestones. Third, verification should be done on the data gathered. Verification can take many forms like actual interview, line manager's conferences, and other techniques that a business manager can implement. Results should be mapped out in a spreadsheet or a business process mapping software. This step will validate if the identified processes are clear and if work set are being effectively carried out. Fourth and final step is analysis. The information gathered and the map that was created should be analyzed. Any inefficiency in the process should be purged immediately and best practices should serve as a model for the whole business process.

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HOW TO ACHIEVE BUSINESS P R O C E S S O P T I M I ZAT I O N

It is said that business process optimization is achieved by having a good management system and a cooperative staff to go with it. Furthermore, the growth and expansion of an organization in a fastchanging environment is strongly based on the strategies and methods they employ to achieve such good results. They should be organized enough to attain that certain level of efficiency when it comes to business process optimization. Companies should always incorporate methods and techniques to optimize the industry itself and to open doors to greater opportunities in the corporate world. If it requires new product development, then it should pass through a meticulous and systematic analysis to ensure that the new product will be worth all the effort. This does not only necessitate creative people in the organization. It also requires proper analysis and considering the estimates. Some businesses fear new product development because they may lose their good reputation and their popular trade name. However, this should not be the sole mentality.

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With proper planning and by employing the different business process methodologies, it is not far from achieving a change that will benefit the company. If you resist change, you might limit your company's success and expansion. Managers should be aware that one of the keys to business process optimization is by developing new products and services that are formulated with the best ideas and suggestions of the people involved in the project. However, the business can also be optimized by hiring business process experts and asking for their consultation in complex areas, especially in grave cases.

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GOING THROUGH A BUSINESS PROCESS REDESIGN

No matter how large or small the company is, it is best if you employ a certain business process management system to ascertain good results and achieved objectives. Every company has its own set or process or standards that they strictly adhere to. If they don't, various complications and endless complaints may come up. You might have the latest technology, the best employees and the best workflow, but do you know how to use it to your benefit? Well, many businesses nowadays are focused on business process redesign to develop greater efficiency and profitability. They employ various techniques and methods to make sure that they are moving on the right path. Having the greatest equipment or staff does not guarantee hundred percent efficiency or profitability. There are so many factors that could put your company into grave depths.

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Aside from these aspects, you should be aware of the various methodologies that exist in the corporate world these days. Do you know about the Six Sigma methodology? How about the Business Process Management or BPM? Do you know how to create solutions to complex problems that can occur in the workplace? Well, it is necessary for you to know about these methods in order to improve your industry. Make sure that your business process workflow is defined and particular to your needs. If not, you can hire a consultant who will employ a business process redesign suited for your company's requirements. In this way, you will get higher chances of achieving your goals and objectives in no time.

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3 KEY QUESTIONS A BUSINESS PROCESS WORKFLOW SHOULD ADDRESS

A business process workflow can be considered as the implementing mechanism of the whole business process. Business processes are general protocols that should be followed by the company in order to create quality driven products and services. In order to be effective, the business process should have a corresponding workflow. This will allow the business processes to gain muscle in the implementation of different tasks. In a way, a business process workflow makes the company work. Without a workflow, the business process will remain a dry protocol. A workflow should address who are the people responsible for each process sub-set and who will carry out the tasks defined in each business process. Answering the key who question is important in order to effectively delegate tasks and responsibilities.

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However, answering the whos in the workflow does not only involve identification of key personnel. It is also important to determine the roles of each participant in the workflow. These roles should be clearly assigned and presented to the personnel involved. What are the assigned tasks and what are the expected outputs are the next questions that a workflow should address. This stage clarifies the work per se and what are needed to implement that work. But the workflow must also address what should be the output after successfully carrying out the tasks. Customer demands will now play a key role here, so it is better to include important customer specifications for a product or service. Finally, a workflow should clearly define the time element of a process. Definition of when a product or service should be rolled out must be clear in the work flow. This is important in achieving targeted deliveries.

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ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT AND ITS COMPONENTS

Document management systems consist of a set of computer programs that are used to track and store captured or scanned images of paper documents and/or electronic files that are used in certain business processes. Such systems are also called Electronic Document Management (EDM) wherein usually, documents come in different recognizable file formats that are kept on a protected database for secure retrieval purposes. The components of document management systems include the following terms: A. Versioning is a process in which a previous copy of a document is retained after a necessary update on the original has been made. Keeping older versions of documents is important for file tracking purposes.

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B. Metadata is used to facilitate understanding, management and usage of data to assist users in locate documents faster and easier. Metadata provides additional information on the document to make it unique from others. Information given may be descriptive or algorithmic, depending on the user's preference. C. Indexing is used to track and classify electronic documents through metadata or other word indexes, making it easier to locate and retrieve data when such a need arises. D. Distribution Security is an important aspect of any computer system to protect critical information and data from being exposed to unauthorized users. This is the reason why many EDM systems permit rights for an administrator to give access rights only to specific users. E. Collaboration is an inherent concept for most EDM systems wherein if one user is working on a certain document, others should not be able to access it anymore so as to prevent file conflicts.

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C R E AT I N G S U C C E S S F U L B U S I N E S S PROCESS WITH FREE BPM

Free BPM is a powerful application that can be used to easily create business process management solutions. Business process management software is intended to give managers and business professionals a convenient tool for designing a business process. Free BPM software is generally available on the Internet and can be downloaded and installed on local servers or individual work station. Once the free BPM is installed, it can now be used to design optimized business process. Some free BPM application can be acquired without registration while other vendors may require a special free ware license before it can be used. Almost all free BPM come in full version mode so its full function can be utilized. There are free BPM applications that will allow users to create a whole process and work flow. This is good if a company needs to redefine its overall business process model. These complete versions are generic applications and it is best to customize its function based on the company's specific business interest.

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There are also free BPM that are designed for specific business processes such as business documentation and correspondence. These programs will allow companies to automate their processes and to integrate different business process into a single environment. One can also find a free BPM that generates business process workflow. These applications will be integrated in the whole business process. Once the necessary data are incorporated into the program, a work flow can be generated complete with diagram, charts, and spreadsheets. The computer generated work flow can also contain the individual tasks and objectives needed to implement the business process.

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SMART SOLUTIONS FROM FUEGO BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT

The Fuego business process management is a type of solution that can help many organizations address their issues on compliance. It can also serve as a model for business process by coming up with a tool that is completely business-centric in nature. In addition, the Fuego business process management solution has integrative capabilities that allow it to effectively participate in an architecture that is service-oriented (or otherwise known as SOA) by means of native support coming from the web-based services, Java, XML technologies, COBRA and many more. This solution includes a developmental environment where business process modeling is a piece of cake. Anyone who is capable of creating a diagram that is swim-lane in nature will be able to easily model the processes in Fuego business process management.

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To illustrate, Fuego business process management can model the handling of the different application processes for some candidates of any particular company. Their activities are then organized into swim lanes that can identify the owner role of each of the activity, which are Candidate as well as Hiring Manager. Fuego's business process management solution, as well as its environment, which is Fuego Studio, can provide many business process-modeling environments that surely concentrates its primary focus on business among others. When one uses the swim lane diagram as a design interface, it can openly allow the different stakeholders with the right process knowledge in order to work with the tool by himself without needing any type or sort of technical skill set.

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JBOSS BPM & HOW IT WORKS

It is not surprising that businesses nowadays are looking forward to the latest trends and technologies available to sustain their business needs. With the high level of competition, it is a need to improve one's system in order to survive in the business environment. Gladly, there are solutions and business experts have come up with different methods to make it easier for companies to manage their industries. One of these methods is the Six Sigma methodology which has been used and formulated by Motorola and General Electric. Then, after its huge success, its popularity and use became widespread. This approach uses statistical tools and concepts that are aimed at achieving goals with minimum wastage and higher cost savings. Another method is the business process management or the BPM. It is actually a way of finding solutions to maximize investment, increase higher chances of getting return on investment fast, and minimizing expenditures. With the appropriate use of jboss BPM, your business will have an edge against your competitors.

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Moreover, it is an approach that is flexible enough for you to use it to your company's advantage. Other processing systems may be difficult to understand and comprehend but jboss BPM is customer friendly and efficient. Moreover, you can combine it with other process system if you feel the need. With the foundation of web services, you can bridge the gap between business and IT to create a set of techniques that will surely make your business a blast. The BPM software is one of the latest adaptations used by many companies these days.

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LOMBARDI BPM: A SUCCESS IN E V E R Y WAY

A leader in business process management software, Lombardi is a tool that can offer award-winning technology as well as extensive know how and excellent services that can help its clients and customers to succeed with many different types of process improvement initiatives. Lombardi is also the one that implemented teamwork this is a way to streamline as well as automate both internal and external processes that can definitely keep up with the fast growth of any business. This was originally deployed in order to manage the different processes of incoming requests, serve ticket status as well as become the front-end of all business partners and their corresponding customers.

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Lombardi's stress on having a process driven approach is the key to many successes and they believe that is the approach that works all the time. Through this approach, they are able to deliver a type of business process management suite that has software and services that can enable many different types of organizations, enterprises and industries to become as process driven as they are. Because of their efforts, Lombardi became recognized as a stalwart leader in the realm of business process software by snagging a position in the Global 200 companies that is the brainchild of Gartner and Forrester Researches. Clearly, being process driven is the way to proceed as companies can come up with significant improvements in the way they efficiently and effectively deliver customer value. At this rate, any company that applies Lombardi business process management can surely assure itself of nothing less than success.

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WHERE TO FIND ONLINE BPM

Back then, BPM was not very popular among the marketers. But after years of improvement, its development has come to a peak and it is now the advent of businessmen these days. Together with the latest technology, IT executives and business experts have come up with the best software available. Besides, business process management or BPM's popularity is massive so its application is indeed widespread. It can be carried out at various management levels and is applicable to different kinds of organizations and corporations. This is definitely one way of providing a solution to your business needs. Basically, BPM is primarily aimed at minimizing costs, maximizing capital, reduce wastage and rapid return of investment. During those days, IT executives have the alternative of making their own process system or acquiring them by actually buying them as a packaged set of applications. However, both of these methodologies are expensive. Moreover, this has a weak point. It is complicated to alter once it has been encoded already. But now, online BPM is available. The trend now is combining BPM and web services to increase profitability and efficiency.

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It can protect software investment and it can be integrated with the existing systems. It can adapt to the increase in the demand and it offers good decision-making procedures, as well as, a tested pattern or workflow to be exact. Once it is adapted, its implementation should be a must. It is not enough that the company managers and employees know about it. Its proper application should be applied at all costs.

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W H AT TO K N O W A B O U T O P E N SOURCE BPM

Every organization would want the best for their business to be done efficiently and on time. They want to perfect their business processes without spending too much. There is a wide range of workflow applications that exist to increase cost savings and reduce wastage in the organization. You will need inscription software, a trusted management system that is specialized for your needs. Moreover, you should find a way to develop the general feasibility of the company and how it will survive in the market. Most organizations nowadays rely on software because it is a practical way of employing a good business process management system. Not to mention the latest cutting-edge software that is applicable to various industries. Like, for example, there is a software that is used by healthcare systems worldwide. This software permits them to transact business with their partners, clients and other healthcare companies in the country to track and administer various medical cases. It greatly offers them a wide range of data to check on the status of the cases online and this definitely reduces the costs and greatly enhances range of the industry.

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This is just one example of the application of open source BPM in the world today. It won't be long when this application will be widespread and will be adopted by other companies as well. But for sure, it will be an efficient way of tracking your management system's status and it will help you out in carrying out the managerial functions. It would not be long until you see the benefits of applying it.

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GETTING THINGS DONE THROUGH B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S A U T O M AT I O N

Life in this world became so easy and convenient since the advent of computers and Information Technology. It seems like everything can be done in just a push of a button. Online shopping, email and instant messaging are just some of the few innovations that made a mark in people's lives, which just goes to show people's growing dependency in modern technology. This also became evident in business operations as the introduction of software applications to automate processes were introduced to the market to make work done in a more timely and efficient manner, thus minimizing inconsistencies and redundancies. Indeed, Business Process Automation or BPA clearly indicates the need to shift from human to computer systems and cut labor costs whenever possible. In delivering process automation, there are usually four main techniques to choose from: A. Extension of Existing IT Systems: There is a need to extend functionality on most IT systems to enable desired automation. This will create customized linkages between application systems to tailor the automation specifically with the exact environment of the organization.

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B. Specialized BPA Tool: Many software vendors have sought the need to automate business processes and as a result, this led to the production of various software applications that promise to make life easier for both the company and its employees. C. Business Process Management (BPM) solution with BPA extensions: Though BPM and BPA are two different business terms, it is still possible to build automation during a BPM implementation. Though BPM can provide a framework as to how processes should be carried out, this may also cause delay on process automation. D. Middleware Solution: The term middleware refers to putting various applications together to produce a more robust solution in automating business processes.

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THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND BUSINESS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

One word best described the process behind Business Improvement Management (BPI) and that is CHANGE. BPI is a systemic approach that aims to help organizations make significant changes on how they do business through redefining strategic goals, aligning processes with these goals, determining market trends, and improving services provided to customers or stakeholders. There are several principles behind Business Process

Improvement and some of these are the following: Proper alignment of business goals: Change has to be made in the system if processes do not reflect company business goals. Customer value: Increasing customer value is brought about by appropriate changes done in the processes to strive for more desirable results. Customer satisfaction is a key to business growth and development.

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Establishment

of

business

ownership:

The

big

responsibility of measuring performance and making changes on business processes lies on specific people, also called as process owners. Being in charge and leading the way in making tough decisions are expected of them so as to ensure process improvement strategies. Building of control points: Coming up with a set of

standards, also known as benchmarks, is crucial in determining if indeed the processes are aligned with company business goals. Such control points must be realistic and attainable, but appropriate strategic changes can be made as the project progresses. Business Process Improvement plays a big role in producing innovative products and services, all for total customer satisfaction. But then again, changes should be done repeatedly. Even perfectly running systems may encounter errors as time goes by. Process innovation should always be a top business priority.

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P R O C E S S M A N A G E M E N T S O F T WA R E

Business Process Management Software Setting a New Phase in Business Automation Technology has brought about a lot of benefits to business owners. Just imagine going back to the same old traditional way of doing business wherein everything has to be done manually. It is not only time consuming but a lot of money is being put into waste, considering the huge demand in the competitive market nowadays to produce quality goods and services. This is where Business Process Management (BPM) comes in, setting an entirely new phase in automating business operations. To get this done, there is a need to integrate both human resources and Information Technology assets to coordinate business strategies better than the usual. There is no other way to get this done, if not through the use of a Business Process Management software. Most BPM software applications nowadays are so powerful that they do not only have the capability of solving challenges in handling certain exceptional tasks and automating routing scenarios but also challenges of putting together long-lasting yet refined activities that will involve both people and systems to act as a team in getting things done.

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There are some software applications that can work with less human intervention, which is just right for employees to focus on doing other business processes. But then again, there are still some that could not stand alone and need people to operate it to produce results. It is because of such situations that software vendors think of better ways on how they can improve their software. Not only business processes continue to improve over time, but supporting elements as well.

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PR O C E S S M A N A G E M E N T: A B R I E F DEFINITION

A certain process, once not handled well, will most likely result to a failure. It is because of this premise that made process management an integral part of any organization. Process management often involves a number of activities to get things done from start to finish, wherein each plays a significant role in business process implementation. Such activities include planning, monitoring, designing, simulating and executing among others, with the end result focused on achieving business objectives. Process management is also the application of knowledge, skills, strategies and techniques acquired through studies or past experiences. Aiming to develop a perfectly working process is such an obtainable thing to do, though it takes a lot of focus, dedication and determination to accomplish this. In addition, key people within the organization should work hand in hand and doubly hard to reach the ultimate goal of exceeding customer expectations. Proper alignment of process to business objectives is also one thing to consider on process management, though there should be a common understanding that these objectives are indeed attainable so as to eliminate false hopes in the future.

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Wise use of resources is also one of the major areas by which process management should be looking at. Improper use of company resources means losing valuable money with certain extent of wasting time and effort from the part of the user. Indeed, there is a need to have a careful reevaluation of business processes, in which in the long run will result to process improvement. This does not only benefit the company and its employees but customers and stakeholders as well.

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BUSINESS PROCESS MODELING THE 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF A PROCESS MODEL

Producing a process model is like seeing the end result of the process, more likely a representation of how the process will look like with detailed descriptions on how things should or must be done. Thus, Business Process Modeling (or otherwise known as Business Process Discovery) is the activity of illustrating both current (as is) and future (to be) processes of a business enterprise for the purpose of evaluating and improving current business processes in terms of quality and efficiency. In creating a process model, three things should be realized. First, the process model has to be descriptive. To be descriptive, there is a need to track everything that happened during a process. By doing so, analyzing and evaluating the current process and determining the areas of improvement will be easier to perform.

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Second, the process model should be prescriptive, which means that it should act as a guide on how things should or could be completed. This can be attained by laying down the guidelines, rules and behavior patterns. Enforcing such will help employees comply with the process standards that will eventually lead to desired results. Third, the process model must be explanatory. This means that every single process detail will be explained, including the rationale on why to come up with such process. To get this done, a process model must also show the link that connects the processes and the requirements that have to be fulfilled. In addition, generating reports is something that is expected on any business process, therefore there is a need to include predefined points in the process model where reports can be extracted. Indeed, coming up with a process model with these three characteristics will work wonders for the company, making more room for improvement in the future.

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SOA BPM REDEFINED

Small and large scale companies are utilizing BPM or business performance management software that aids them in monitoring their business transactions with the use of charts and graphical illustrations. You actually get to see how your company is going on real time with the use of the BPM software. When it was first introduced to the market, it was expensive and only the huge corporations can afford it. But with the introduction of simpler systems, small scale companies can already buy it. Moreover, the installation process has never been that easy. SOA and BPM have been combined to perform specific tasks depending on the needs of the company. Some people have doubted its efficiency but still, it has been used by many companies globally. SOA or service-oriented architecture deals with the description of services and organization which would enable businesses to transact and choose over a service in the internet. However, it does not focus on formats and set of rules. Its major components are a service provider and a service directory which contains all the vital data about the services included.

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The service provider, in return, supplies the entries to the directory. Having SOA BPM software brings many advantages. First, it provides real-time data that will let you see the changes and alterations over a certain range of variables. Next, it gives a full analysis of the gathered data and it provides instant points to key performance indicators which are very crucial. But it is best that you choose the right SOA BPM software.

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H O W T I B C O E X PA N D S E D U C A T I O N A L E N D E AV O R S I N B P M

Tibco has been around for several years, serving the business world by implementing solutions for integrations and providing a quality approach that will help to reduce risks, accelerate delivery and ensure quality solutions each time, every time. In the realm of business process management, the integrated group of TIBCO's PSG or Professional Services Group provide service to their customers by helping them plan and implement different integrative solutions by one way leveraging only the best practices that revolve around the said company's Information Bus. Such an Information Bus serves as an architecture that provides an assortment of useful software products that also have reusable components and with the ability to provide solid expertise in any aspect of business process management, thanks to their customer implementation teams.

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TIBCO

helps

their

many

clients

by

deploying

their

implementation teams and smoothly running TIBCO software as fast as they can. In BPM education, TIBCO even has an on-site training ground that provides training programs via a Technical Learning Center that has numerous classrooms all around the world, as well as a virtual training set up. Other professionals in the field of business process management can also benefit from TIBCO's packaged and easily customizable courses which TIBCO itself delivers to the clients. TIBCO courses include everything that has to do with business process management, from the fundamentals of the Information Bus architecture all the way to more advanced aspects of the use and administration of particular products. This serves as evidence of TIBCO's commitment to service, excellence and advancement in business process management.

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W H AT I S B P M & H O W C A N Y O U BENEFIT FROM IT?

Have you heard about business performance management? It is actually a management system that is also known as BPM. It is a way of tracking your business happenings and monitoring it from time to time. It has been utilized by various companies these days and its popularity has led IT executives and business professionals to come up with a software that incorporates business performance management and its applications. During its early years, it was only used by large companies who can afford it. But gladly, there are simpler systems already made, which makes it less expensive. This is why small scale industries can already afford it. Another good thing about BPM is that it is compact and does not require so many statistical tools unlike other management systems that exist. Moreover, it is flexible and very adapted to different kinds of managerial levels. It is not limited to various industries only.

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Good news is, there is already a BPM software that is easy to install and use. One advantage of it is that it can store real time data and it can give you a graphical representation of the stats of the company. With this, you can monitor and keep track of your business in no time. Are you tired of the piles of paperwork and never ending file keeping? Well, thanks to technology BPM software is already available in the market. It is flexible and applicable to various types of industries and the methods are easy to comprehend. So this is how BPM works and it has been by many companies since then.

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T H E N AT U R E O F B U S I N E S S P R O C E S S MANAGEMENT

Business process management is used to help align a particular organization to the needs and wants of their customers in a more efficient way. Business process management is a holistic type of approach that is able to promote more effective and efficient business services that also strives to innovate, remain flexible to change, and seamlessly integrate with all forms of technological products. To be more specific, the business process management system can also be likened to a collection of activities that are structured, related to one another and serves to produce a solution that is able to meet the different needs and requests of their many clients. These processes are very critical to the success of any organization because through these processes the organization can generate greater revenues and reduce a significant portion of their company production costs. While all organizations strive to meet their different objectives using different ways, business process management makes continuous attempts to improve the many processes that ensure the smooth monitoring of business success.

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These processes also include defined and measured objectives to ensure total optimization. It also includes two important components that make the entire thing highly effective: the people and the technology. Both of the levels need to be carefully monitored in order to make sure that the entire system works in harmony. The approach of business process management is a strong connection between customer-oriented services by way of technological means. The result, therefore, is a higher level of customer satisfaction and more projects for the company as well.

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THE MANY BENEFITS OF WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

To be guided with a systematic organization of resources, defined roles, and information on a certain work process, then there is always a need for workflow management. Workflow management is an integral part of the business operations as it aims to improve work efficiency by coming up with an automated procedure that can be followed religiously all throughout a specific project. The benefits that workflow management can bring to businesses is very exceptional, which is the reason why more and more companies are adapting this kind of business approach. It is through workflow management that brings about consistency and accuracy on business processes through the elimination of unnecessary and redundant steps that makes work costly and at the same time untimely.

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In addition to this, every member of the team will be more productive as they are fully aware of what their roles will be. Streamlining employee responsibilities will give way to healthier working relationships. In addition, it would be easier for the management to track employee performance. Since the workflow process is a cycle of standardized working methods, each team member will be more committed in ensuring that same functions are done although out the process. Not only the company and its employees benefit from workflow management. Customers also take their fair share as quality goods and services will be delivered right at their doorsteps. They will also feel involved in the entire production process through constant feedback on things that truly matters to them. Such achievement in establishing good customer relations will always mean increased profits and in the long run will result to continued business success.

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T H E B E N E F I T S T H AT C O M PA N I E S CAN GET OUT OF WORKFLOW S O F T WA R E

A workflow software has a lot of different functions, with its main goal being to provide means on how the computer can achieve its highest potential. Though there are a lot of businesses processing software that key people within the organization use everyday, the workflow software works differently in such a way that it performs tasks in the background while certain processes are being worked on. An example of which is doing data entry. The workflow software can be programmed to automate the data entry process. This function is either pre-installed or done manually by the user. Using the workflow software can definitely make such time consuming tasks easier to accomplish and guarantee that data will get to the right places.

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Automating the scan-and-send process is another function of the workflow software. This process works pretty simple and easy. There are certain instances wherein a person working on a certain department within the organization needs to send documents to another department through email. Now the workflow software can then be configured to automate this process by scanning each of the documents, place them in a file folder and assign an email address for each, resulting to a faster file submission process. Another good thing about using the workflow software is that it eliminates the possibility of encountering errors within the course of any business process. Since every process is almost done without any human intervention, there is an assurance of getting more accurate and reliable data. With a lot of great benefits, the workflow software is definitely here to stay.

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W O R K F L O W A P P L I C AT I O N : A U TO M AT I N G R E S P O N S E S T O W O R K FLOW CHANGES

Workflow application integrates different business process programs, tasks, and people in a single environment for quick automation of work processes or for easy manipulation of data and information if the process is created manually. Deploying a workflow application in an enterprise will speed up the processing of company tasks. Business process work flow is dynamic because it is constantly changing. Regular updates to the work flow are needed in order to keep up with the daily operation of a company. Implementation of a work flow application will enable companies to adapt to constant changes especially if the program is designed to do automated response. There are specific applications that can easily create an enterprisewide workflow application. These programs can be acquired from the Internet or from different software vendors that specialize in writing business suite packages. Some business process management software also includes a workflow application as part of the whole suite. For convenience and easy deployment, these applications could be utilized.

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Workflow application can also be written to suit specific company needs. This approach is ideal if a company has a competent IT support that can develop work flow application language capable of interfacing with the different business process tools. Scripting tools are normally used to create a workflow application. XML-based workflow language can also be generated. This is simpler and can interface with almost all business process programs of the company. Workflow application is a convenient and useful tool in integrating different business processes. Companies should deploy workflow applications in order to systematize and automate changes and updates in the company's numerous work flow and processes.

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W O R K F L O W A P P L I C AT I O N S & H O W THEY WORK

What is workflow management? Well, business should run by using the cost effective methods without actually sacrificing the quality of the products and services. For years, different management systems have been the reason behind large corporations' success. And right now it still continues to benefit small and huge scale companies worldwide. Various workflow applications consist of business processes and these activities are carried out by following a set of rules. Moreover, the documents and tasks are being passed from one individual to another to implement such regulations and proper protocol. It is being used by many companies because it enhances business operations and it improves the quality of the management system. Moreover, it is used to ensure that each individual involved in the project is dedicated and aware of his responsibilities and role in the task itself. Enough workforce and team cooperation is also a must for the workflow application to be effective. In addition, with the aid of the latest technology, there is already are workflow software programs that show how business operations can be carried out.

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It has been used by many industries worldwide and it has advanced since then. More and more IT executives are developing an assortment of software that will adapt to the various systems such as document management, publishing and other related systems. These workflow applications incorporate tracking and monitoring. Furthermore, it includes forms and documents that are crucial to the company. It is very important to have an organized workflow application because it will directly affect the products or results of the project.

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THE BENEFITS OF WORKFLOW A U TO M AT I O N

Workflow automation allows companies to quickly respond to work process related critical situations. It is essential for managers to get accurate and timely information on matters that may impact on the company's operation. Workflow automation can answer this need enabling managers to make timely business decisions or adjustments to the process. Workflow automation can also have a significant impact on the customer relations management of a company. Numerous inquiries and feedbacks can be answered quickly by appropriate departments. This will make the company customer-sensitive which could enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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The benefits of workflow automation are many. Most companies today are implementing workflow automation as a key mechanism to improve the business process and customer relations. Workflow automation can generate redundant business processes eliminating the need to repeat every business process. This will save time and could greatly improve company productivity. Another key benefit of workflow automation is the identification of critical work processes and tasks that need immediate response. A glitch in a single process can affect the whole operation and it would be best for managers to be alerted on these matters. In this way, timely corrective actions can be implemented immediately. Finally, workflow automation can provide useful sales leads because customer inquiries can be addressed quickly. Having numerous leads and responding quickly to those leads can improve profitability by encouraging more customers to patronize the company. Work flow automation also improves customer relations significantly because feedbacks from customers can be considered to improve the business process.

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W O R K F L O W A U TO M AT I O N S O F T WA R E : I M P R O V I N G S P E E D , E F F I C I E N C Y, & P R O D U C T I V I T Y

Any company that is burdened by tons of paper work, work flow processes, repetitive creation and submission of forms will definitely need workflow automation software. Plowing through voluminous documents, sending and forwarding it to other departments or business units can be a very arduous task which can definitely impact on company performance. Doing this manually could affect the speed of the workflow, efficiency of work, and accuracy of the tasks being done. To eliminate these risks, which could negatively affect company productivity, managers and business executives need to automate their workflow through the use of computer assisted business process workflow automation.

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Automating the business processes using workflow automation software can do away with the bottlenecks and glitches. The company will benefit from it by increasing the speed of their business process and improving responsiveness to internal problems and customer demands. Through this, less man-hour will be wasted and more work will be done in as little time as possible. This will definitely translate to increasing profit and improving quality of work and product deliveries. BPM applications and business suite software usually provides a facility for work flow automation. These are comprehensive packages that can cover each step of the business process from process planning and design to workflow and feedback mechanisms creation. There are also workflow automation programs that can stand alone as separate application. Normally, these applications can integrate the process design. An automated workflow then can be created based on the process design, thus making the work of managers a lot easier.

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WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT S O F T WA R E : E N H A N C I N G C O M P A N Y C O L L A B O R AT I O N

Successful companies and businesses normally have dynamic workflow which enables them to respond quickly to any critical business process changes or updates. This is made possible through the use of workflow management software. These applications allow company personnel, managers and different departments to fully collaborate in order to improve the business process of to make faster and efficient adjustments to the process. Workflow management software specifically addresses

collaborative documents processing. It allows users to efficiently move documents and workflow diagrams within the different company structures and levels. The ability to collaborate in real time and to see changes immediately can positively impact on company productivity. The need to call time consuming emergency meetings and conferences will be eliminated by simply using workflow management software.

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Work flow management software can be a stand alone application or a part of business management process suite. Business software vendors provide this application as an important adjunct to workflow programs. Most workflow management software can be easily deployed on local servers so that individual business units or departments can be integrated. This type of application normally has user friendly interfaces and can be installed on different computer platforms. This maximizes collaboration because anyone who can access it can easily use the program. Some workflow management software is task specific. There are solutions for email collaborations, process map collaboration, file sharing and documents collaboration, and many more. The software is an important application in solving issues that usually arises due to defective or weak corporate communication.

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W H AT TO K N O W A B O U T W O R K F L O W S O F T WA R E

A workflow software is very important in any business. If you want to make sure that your company is going to the right pace, you should know the various workflow applications to improve your company's efficiency and profitability. As a matter of fact, it is being used by many healthcare systems these days. It is being used to perfect their business management and it definitely improves the organization's competency. It is simply a great way to carry out the most effective methods to reduce the costs, minimize wastage and maximizing the investment. Every organization would want to employ the latest technology and the best methods to develop the viability of the company itself that is why it is best if you were aware of these work flow software programs. Like, for example, there is already a software used by medical healthcare system called Peerpoint. This allows them to talk with their business partners, clients, and even to other doctors to have a larger database of medical cases. With this, they can check the current status of the medical cases through the internet.

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Moreover, they are able to track down and manage the cases as they conduct the medical reviews. This has given them benefits such as lesser expenses and a wider coverage as well. This is just one of the great benefits one can get by using a work flow software. It is not only used in the healthcare environment. It has also been used in government agencies, universities, profit and non profit programs and many more.

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IMPROVING RESPONSE TIME


THROUGH

WORKFLOW SOLUTION

A complete workflow solution can be applied to enhance the current business process management program of a company. A workflow solution could include not just the workflow automation program but also other important functions such as alert managers, workflow simulation, and scenario settings. Other important feature that may be included in a workflow solution includes the ability to create template workflows that can be repeated for other processes. Workflow solution is beneficial for any company that needs to improve the efficiency of their entire business process. The workflow serves as the implementing rules of the business process design. A good process design will not work if it does not have a corresponding workflow. It follows that a superior workflow should be in place in order to have smooth and problem-free company operations.

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It would be important also that the workflow solution could alert managers of important events that are happening in the process. Problems could arise such as bottlenecks, dysfunctional process, or an event that needs immediate response. These issues should be addressed quickly by appropriate bodies of the company or by responsible personnel. Through workflow alerts, response could be quicker and solutions can be applied immediately. Problems can be solved and work will be allowed to continue. A workflow solution is essential if a company wants its process to be more effective and efficient. These solutions can be included in the business process programs of the company or it could also be purchased as a separate application. Some business process suite offers a complete line of solutions that can do process design, workflow, and database organization.

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VA L U A B L E B E N E F I T S O F WORKFLOW SOLUTIONS

Workflow solutions are comprehensive software packages which can include business process management creation, workflow automation, and other process management tools. Workflow solutions seek to automate every step and component element of the business processes. Automation brings with it several critical benefits that could definitely improve the performance of a company. Workflow solutions improve company responsiveness. Sensitivity of the company to its business processes, to customer service, and to internal company relations are critical in achieving success. A defect in the workflow or a bottle neck in the business process can be immediately corrected through automated workflow. Important client demands can also be addressed quickly as well as critical collaborative issues within the company. Increased responsiveness in these areas could definitely improve efficiency of business processes.

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Another key benefit of workflow solutions is increasing productivity. Faster actions and collaborations on major issues can be possible through automated business process. Reduction of paper work and elimination of manual updating of work flow process could make the work faster. This will translate to gains in productivity because the more work done in lesser time means more value is being created by the company. Workflow solution also benefits the knowledge and learning process of the company. If issues can be quickly addressed and solutions are implemented quickly, the business process gains through richer experience. A more robust business process management can arise quickly, which could benefit the whole company operation. The company then can create a healthy business environment which is essential in facing corporate challenges.

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EFFICIENT WORKFLOW SYSTEM M E A N S G R E AT E R P R O D U C T I V I T Y


AND

H I G H E R C O L L A B O R AT I O N

Companies can create an effective and efficient workflow system that automates business processes, increase productivity and collaboration, and improve overall company performance. An excellent workflow system is critical in systematizing complicated business processes. It can also induce faster accomplishment of major milestone by ensuring that work is being done according to the standard business process of the company. A workflow system that works can optimize the business competencies of a company.

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Workflow system can be generated through several business process management applications. There are comprehensive programs that cover every aspect of business process management from work process design to specific workflow creation and implementation. Business process software suite normally delivers a generic workflow system that has incorporated several best practices of business process management. Some business software vendors allow companies to use software suite for a limited time with full features. After the allowable trial period, companies should buy the software in order to continue its application. However there are free business applications packages that offer full functionality and promises improvement of the workflow system. Generic business programs like these can be easily downloaded from the Internet. There are also workflow system applications that focus on a particular work processes such as document sharing, email support, and sales and inventory management. These applications seek to optimize certain segment of a company in order to deliver results that will impact on the overall business process. Software like this can be very useful for line managers who wish to improve their own sub-set of business process. Setting up the best workflow system can impact on company productivity. A good workflow system could mean effective company performance.